Biodiesel can be made from many different sources--canola, soy, peanuts, algae, and so on--but the vast majority of the fuel that we sell is made from Canadian-grown canola. Also, biodiesel can be made as a blend with regular diesel fuel. When you see the term "B5" it means that someone has produced a blend of fuels, with 5% biodiesel and 95% diesel. The advantage of diesel engines is that they can use biodiesel and diesel--and at any blend ratio.
The fuel that we buy and sell is made entirely from biodiesel--and in our case, that means primarily canola. We also purchase biodiesel made from non-canola sources, such as soy, but we try to avoid using it in engines, for reasons explained in the FAQs. The non-canola biodiesel can be used, for instance, for home heating needs.
In the beginning, our co-op had numerous small-scale producers who made backyard biodiesel and sold it to the co-op at wholesale prices, and then the co-op sold it to other members. We now purchase from a variety of sources.
Our suppliers, and other co-op members source their fuel stock from local WVO (waste vegetable oil). This is advantageous for two reasons. First, it's local and abundant. Every restaurant with a deep fryer uses vegetable oil, and once it's been used, it needs to go somewhere. A lot of it ends up as animal feed, but increasingly, WVO ends up in biodiesel producing facilities. Second, it's recycled. Canada produces quite a lot of canola, and some of it ends up in restaurants in the Victoria area. So it's great to be able to use domestically produced oil, and in fact use it twice!
We are not able to certify the purity of every batch of biodiesel that we make; the law does not require it and it would be very expensive for us to do so. (This helps to explain why we don't have a public fueling station.) However, we do take measures to ensure that our members get the safest and highest possible quality biodiesel.
Whenever possible, biodiesel and renewables are used in the process of making the fuel.
Our co-op is thus committed to domestic, sustainable, and recycled fuels. To learn more about biodiesel, read our FAQs.