Both houses of the Pennsylvania General Assembly have passed HB 1202, a bill requiring that transportation fuels sold in Pennsylvania include increasing amounts of biodiesel, synthetic diesel or renewable diesel (in diesel fuel); and cellulosic ethanol (in gasoline), based on levels of in-state production.
The General Assembly also passed a second bill, (Special Session SB 22) extending the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program (AFIG) to provide funding of $0.75 per gallon for all biodiesel produced in Pennsylvania by Pennsylvanians and sold in Pennsylvania. The AFIG fund will rebate up to $5.3 million each year for the next three years, with no single producer receiving more than $1.9 million each year. No funding will be available for corn-based ethanol.
Under HB1202, all gasoline sold in the state will have to contain at least 10% cellulosic ethanol by volume one year after the in-state annualized production volume of cellulosic ethanol reaches 350 million gallons and is sustained at that level for three months. Substitution of another renewable fuel for cellulosic ethanol is approved if it meets state requirements and has an emissions profile at least as good as that of cellulosic ethanol.
HB1202 outlines a scaling biodiesel requirement beginning at 2% (B2), one year after in-state production reaches an annualized volume of 40 million gallons and is sustained for three months. Subsequent blend requirements and threshold points are:
5% biodiesel (B5) at 100 million gallons of in-state production;
10% biodiesel (B10) at 200 million gallons of in-state production; and
20% biodiesel (B20) at 400 million gallons of in-state production.
(ASTM recently approved a B6-B20 blend specification. (Earlier post.))
Coal-to-liquids (CTL) synthetic diesel may be substituted in place of biodiesel, provided that the CTL fuel’s carbon emissions are fully offset, either through carbon sequestration or by participation in carbon offset programs.
Renewable diesel—e.g.,hydrotreated oils and fats resulting in bio-hydrocarbons—may be used in place of biodiesel up to a maximum of 25% of the volume of biodiesel required.
According to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), total actual biodiesel production in the US from 1 October 2006 through 30 September 2007 was 450 million gallons, on capacity of 2.24 billion gallons per year. NBB lists the current capacity of Pennsylvania biodiesel producers at 56.5 million gallons per year as of 25 January 2008, with another 10 million gallons of capacity under construction.
The Renewable Fuels Association lists only one Pennsylvania ethanol producer—a corn ethanol plant with 110 million gallons annual capacity.