Minnesota Raises Biodiesel Requirement to 5 Percent

May 04, 2009

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture announced on May 1 that the state has increased the amount of biodiesel required for blending into regular diesel from 2 to 5 percent. The change is another step towards the state's goal to be the first in the nation to require 20 percent biodiesel to be blended into all its diesel by 2015.

Minnesota's diesel-powered vehicles have been running on 2 percent biodiesel (B2) since 2005. Historically, the state's biodiesel producers have made the fuel from Minnesota-grown soybeans, but some producers are moving toward using alternative feedstocks, such as animal fats, spent cooking oils, or algae.

Increasing the diesel fuel blend requirement will necessitate the production of about 40 million gallons of biodiesel per year. Minnesota's biodiesel industry, which has the capacity to produce more than 60 million gallons of biodiesel per year, should easily meet that demand.

The new requirement is expected to reduce vehicle emissions, preventing 139 tons of particulate pollution and 330,000 tons of lifecycle greenhouse gases from entering the air each year. That is the equivalent of taking more than 55,000 cars off the road, the department says.

In making the announcement, Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson said the state has learned from experience that producing biodiesel helps the state's farm economy and using biodiesel helps air quality and the state's effort to achieve greater energy independence.

Minnesota was the first state in the nation to require the use of biodiesel. Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Massachusetts have followed suit and have passed biodiesel requirements.

For more information, see the department's May 1 press release and the National Biodiesel Board May 1 press release (PDF 19 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

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