Minn. biodiesel requirement jumps to 10 percent

By Ron Kotrba | July 01, 2014

July 1 marks a memorable day for biodiesel as Minnesota becomes the first state in the nation to require 10 percent biodiesel to be blended in all diesel fuel. While Illinois has a tax incentive that encourages biodiesel blends at 11 percent or higher, Minnesota is the first state to require a double-digit blend.

Minnesota has long been a biodiesel pioneer, becoming the first state in the nation to implement a biodiesel standard back in 2005 at 2 percent. In 2009, the biodiesel requirement jumped to 5 percent. The transition to B10 was originally scheduled for 2012 but was delayed to ensure blending infrastructure was sufficient across the entire state. B10 will be available at the pump from April through September, and B5 will remain the standard the standard the rest of the year.

“It is encouraging to see leaders implement consistently strong biofuels policy,” said Steven J. Levy, chairman of the National Biodiesel Board. “This is obviously in sharp contrast to the mixed messages sent from Washington, D.C. Minnesota’s move to B10 shows the impressive potential for renewable energy when policy and entrepreneurship work hand in hand to support real benefits that impact us all. Hopefully those at the national level will see the success in Minnesota and follow up with a strong federal energy policy and strong renewable fuel standard.”

According to the American Lung Association of Minnesota, the state’s current B5 standard reduces emissions equal to removing nearly 35,000 vehicles from the road, which equates to 644 million pounds of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Increasing the blend from B5 to B10 will mean an additional demand of 20 million gallons of biodiesel each year on top of the current usage of 40 million gallons. Minnesota’s current operating production capacity is over 60 MMgy. Plants are currently operating in Isanti, Brewster and Albert Lea. 

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