• Ron Kotrba

4 years of B20 biodiesel in Minnesota


This month, Minnesota entered the fourth year of its groundbreaking B20 biodiesel fuel standard, which requires No. 2 diesel fuel sold in the state to contain 20 percent biodiesel during the warmer months of April through September. In the colder months of October through March, the fuel standard is scaled back to 5 percent biodiesel.


“With the ongoing debate around ‘clean cars’ and electric vehicles, we know that biodiesel is a proven, reliable solution to address climate and energy concerns,” said Mike Youngerberg, the senior director of product development and commercialization with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council. “It’s reducing carbon right here, right now. As we move into the fourth year of the B20 biodiesel blend requirement, it is important to remind ourselves of the countless benefits this advanced biofuel provides for our state. From the soybean farmers who grow the renewable fuel to the end users, we all reap the benefits of the less carbon intense, greenhouse gas reducing fuel.”


In 2020, using B20 biodiesel in the summer and B5 in the winter has removed more than 1.25 million tons of CO2 from the air, according to MSRPC, which equates to removing 246,000 passenger vehicles from the roads each year. Minnesota’s forward-thinking biodiesel policy displaces approximately 130 million gallons of petroleum diesel in the state every year. According to the National Biodiesel Board, using biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent on average compared to petroleum diesel fuel. Studies also show biodiesel lowers particulate matter by 47 percent, helping to improve Minnesota’s environment and the health of its residents.


Along with the environmental and health benefits, biodiesel contributes nearly $1.7 billion toward Minnesota’s economy, adding an estimated 5,400 jobs, increasing demand for regionally grown soybeans and providing about 63 cents of added value to each bushel.


Approximately 85 million gallons of biodiesel is able to be manufactured every year in Minnesota from three production facilities in Albert Lea, Brewster and Isanti.


Minnesota was the first state in the nation to pass and implement a biodiesel fuel standard in the early 2000s, which began at 2 percent and went into effect in 2005.


“Over the course of nearly 20 years, biodiesel has proven to be an economic and environmental winner throughout Minnesota,” said Cole Trebesch, MSRPC chair. “The council is proud to work alongside farmers, state agencies and all the important players along the supply chain to make biodiesel a long-term success story in Minnesota.”

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