Minnesota implements B2 standard

By | November 01, 2005
Minnesota became the first state to successfully implement a statewide initiative that blends 2 percent biodiesel (B2) throughout its entire diesel fuel supply. Sept. 29 marked the official implementation of the effort after the state met all requirements contained in the March 2002 legislation that received bipartisan support. Minnesota has exceeded the legislative requirement that the state's biodiesel production be at least 8 MMgy. The state now leads the nation with its annual biodiesel production capacity of 63 MMgy.

"Many people talk about doing something to help change our energy situation in this country; in Minnesota, they don't just talk-they took a stand and did something about it," said Joe Jobe, chief executive officer of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). "Today, biodiesel produced in Minnesota from soybeans grown in Minnesota is flowing through the veins of the state's energy infrastructure. Liquid solar energy from the Midwest is replacing oil from the Mid-East. Minnesotans should be proud."

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) first introduced the B2 legislation in 2000 and again in 2001. With the help of many clean air advocates and agricultural organizations, including the NBB, the legislation that had become known as the "B2 legislation" passed and resulted in three biodiesel plants with a combined production capacity that far exceeds the production required to implement the B2 rule. FUMPA Biofuels in Redwood Falls, Minnesota Soybean Processors in Brewster and SoyMor in Albert Lea are all member plants of the NBB.

"An economic study completed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture estimates that using just B2 blends will increase the demand for soybean oil in Minnesota by 92 million pounds. That's the equivalent of 8.5 million bushels of soybeans," said Bob Worth, president of MSGA. "But we already have school bus fleets, trucking firms and municipal fleets using a 20 percent blend-B20. Minnesotans really embraced biodiesel for three basic reasons: It's better for the environment, it's good for the economy, and it helps our nation reduce its dependence on foreign oil."

The biodiesel blend will also help meet an operational need in diesel starting in 2006. Next year, ultra-low sulfur diesel will be phased in nationwide, and some sort of lubricity additive will be required. Two percent biodiesel fully restores the needed lubricity to prevent premature engine wear and tear in diesel engines.
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