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Minnesota B20 biodiesel standard to take effect in 2018

The state of Minnesota will implement a new biodiesel standard next spring, as Minnesota moves to a 20% biodiesel blend (B20) at pumps across the state. This new standard builds on Minnesota’s national leadership—in 2005, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to require all diesel fuel to have a blend of at least 2% biodiesel (B2).

Beginning in May 2018, B20 will be sold at filling stations across Minnesota during summer months, when higher biodiesel blends can be used reliably. In October, the biodiesel blend will drop back to B5 to ensure cold-weather reliability. Beginning in 2019, B20 will be available from April through September every year.

A large portion of Minnesota’s biodiesel is made from homegrown soybeans, which are one of the state’s leading cash crops. The Minnesota biodiesel industry annually contributes more than $1.7 billion to the economy. The state currently has three biodiesel plants located in Albert Lea, Brewster and Isanti, which combined, produce about 74 million gallons of biodiesel annually.

According to the American Lung Association in Minnesota, the use of biodiesel significantly reduces tail pipe emissions. B20 is expected to reduce 130 tons of particulate emissions and approximately 1 million tons of CO₂ next year.

Comments

Juan Valdez

As a Minnesota guy, I'm pleased to see our state taking a lead on this, even as the feds try to move back to oil and gas.

However, we need to move faster to electrify all transportation, big trucks included. Long-haul trucks take standard routes so battery swaps could handle the entire trip. In town trucks could just use rechargeable and lighter batteries.

In the interim, I think biodiesel and biofuel tech would be better applied to aircraft and ships, vehicles where battery power will take longer to implement. It would be easy to imagine 100% bio-fuels for aircraft and ships, while cars and trucks move immediately to electrification.

Carl

There was a study conducted in 2013 that analyzed the full life-cycle impacts of electric and diesel transit buses (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jiec.12024/full).

In only 8 states were the electric buses superior to the diesel buses, and that was with regular petroleum-based diesel fuel. B20 clearly would be better still.

Since OTR trucks cross many states, there are probably no scenario in which electric trucks overall would be superior to diesel trucks running B20 with respect to GHG emissions or damages to public health and the environment.

James McLaughlin

And who paid for that obviously bogus study? (No I did not read it, I only read good books.)

Carl

The study was funded by U.S. National Science Foundation. Grant Number: 0967353 and Norwegian Research Council. Grant Number: 190940, according to the paper.

Max Reid

Way to go. There is plenty of soybean and Bio-diesel can be produced from that crop. And tropical countries can produce it from Palm.

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