Timeline of Progress

The origins of the BC-SMART initiative date back to 2012 when studies by the International Energy Agency Bioenergy Task 39 working group recognized the potential of drop-in biofuels. After further work, the Task 39 group published it’s report in 2014 identifying the opportunities and challenges of drop-in biofuels along with recommendations to enhance their commercial viability. These early efforts laid the groundwork for the BC-SMART initiative.

The BC-SMART initiative was officially launched in 2017 at the auspices of the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources with the goal of developing a roadmap to decarbonise transportation fuels, in particular fuel for the long-distance sectors

What we do

BC-SMART drives coalition building and information sharing to explore technology development and deployment (hardware) and policy tools (software) to encourage the production and use of drop-in biofuels as a sustainable, affordable and commercially viable solution for long-distance transport.

The consortium is envisioned to be co-chaired by senior government and industry representatives supported by a jointly funded secretariat.

Industry-led hardware solutions explore biomass feedstock and biofuel supply chain development, process technologies and life cycle analysis of GHG emissions

Photo credit: Parkland Refinery

Government-led software solutions include policies related to low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), forest biomass recovery and renewable fuel volume mandates

Photo credit: BC Parliamentary Buildings in HDR by Sean Daniel (2009)

Drop-in Biofuels

In the short-term, electrification and other technologies such as fuel cells cannot provide the “long-distance” and other attributes required by marine, aviation, rail and trucking sectors. However, drop-in biofuels do provide a viable clean fuel solution.

Drop-in biofuels are:

  • biomass-derived hydrocarbons with potentially lower carbon intensity compared to fossil fuels
  • functionally equivalent to petroleum fuels
  • fully compatible with existing petroleum infrastructure
  • a pathway to engage the “oil-sector”, particularly the oil refineries

Our Value

  • Provide a vehicle for committed industry, government and academic institutions and organizations to contribute to BC decarbonizing efforts (i.e. recruit stakeholders to expand the consortium)
  • Establish an action plan with clear goals and timelines that supports the goals of the CleanBC Plan
  • Identify the funding required to develop a co-processing strategy at BC’s refineries while encouraging the supply of biobased feedstocks/intermediates (“conventional” and “advanced”)
  • Establish a robust drop-in biofuels supply chain that can provide low carbon fuels for the marine, aviation, rail and trucking sectors

BC-SMART Roadmap to decarbonise long-distance transport

The BC-SMART Roadmap recommends action in three, related areas:

  • Expand the BC-SMART Biofuels Consortium that brings together a “coalition-of-the-willing” that will develop a long-lived, commercially viable process to supply and help decarbonise the long-distance transport sector operating in British Columbia and beyond. This stipulates the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, to confirm commitment to promoting drop-in biofuel production and use while identifying specific goals, objectives and the time lines needed to establish commercial production and use of drop in biofuels
  • “Software” recommendations. Build on, and further develop, the policies and regulatory measures that will help establish the production and use of feedstocks and low carbon drop in biofuels by the long-distance transport sector (Government lead)
  • Hardware” recommendations. Invest in the supply chain and infrastructure that already exist to help produce and distribute low carbon intensity biofuels while facilitating a co-processing strategy at local refineries (Industry lead)

Role of the BC-SMART Secretariat

  • Showcase BC efforts in lowering carbon intensity of long-distance transport to companies, governments and other national and international organizations
  • Evaluate: monitor and assess efforts undertaken by other jurisdictions in decarbonizing long-distance transport

Supported by: