10 percent biodiesel receives passing grade in Minn.

By The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association | October 03, 2014

With summer giving way to fall, Minnesota is celebrating a successful run with 10 percent biodiesel (B10) at the pumps.

“The implementation of B10 went very well,” said George Goblish, president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. “I think we alleviated the concerns of truckers and auto manufacturers.”

Steve Howell, president of Marc-IV Consulting, said Minnesota has proven biodiesel blends can be a high-quality fuel at the retail pump level.

“The stability of the product in Minnesota far exceeded the stability specs, and people in Minnesota can feel good about the fuel they are getting,” he said.

Howell said the high quality of B10 in Minnesota at the pump is because of the quality control measures in place throughout the state.

According to Lisa Pedderson, director of operations for MEG Corp., a key indicator of fuel quality in biodiesel blends is oxidative stability, which is a measure of degradation caused by exposure to oxygen.

The Plymouth, Minn., based MEG Corp., a fuel consulting company, took samples in September from retailers across three regions in Minnesota—north, metro and south.

“All of them met the specification and went well beyond,” Pedderson said.

All of the samples surpassed the minimum required specification for oxidative stability and most of the samples were three to four times the minimum. Howell said higher values indicate even better stability, and this real-world data is important because some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are looking for more assurances biodiesel blends at the pump are continuing to meet specifications.

“With these high stability values consumers, under typical storage conditions, can expect the B10 that they purchased to be good for at least a year according to data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory,” said Mike Youngerberg, executive director of the Minnesota Biodiesel Council.

Goblish echoed those sentiments.

“We saw resistance from groups like Mercedes and the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association during the last session because they were concerned fuels could fall out of specification by the time it reached the consumer’s tank,” he said. “But the numbers don’t lie. Biodiesel blends consistently bested oxidation stability at the pump because biodiesel is an excellent fuel.”

The summer run of B10 now gives way to B5, which hit pumps Oct. 1 and runs through March. B10 will be available again April 1, 2015.

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association is a non-profit, farmer-controlled membership organization established in 1962. Its goal is to assure profitable soybean farming by monitoring government policies and supporting research and market development activities.

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