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  • The City of Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, city fleet uses B20 biodiesel in checkoff-funded program

The city of Sioux Falls announced Aug. 10 that it has been using a 20 percent biodiesel blend (B20) in its fleet vehicles as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability.

The city’s fleet has been using the fuel blend since April without any impact to day-to-day operations.

Neither the fleet vehicles nor the existing fuel stations needed any modification to use B20.

“Switching to a biodiesel blend was a seamless transition that lets us see multiple benefits immediately,” said Holly Meier, sustainability coordinator with the city of Sioux Falls. “Using B20 this year will decrease the city’s use of petroleum diesel fuel by 24,000 gallons, helping the city reduce harmful greenhouse-gas emissions. It’s better for our community’s health and for our drivers as well.”

Fleets throughout the country are utilizing biodiesel blends to help meet their sustainability goals.

MEG Corp.—the city’s fuel consultant—has seen similar success in fleets throughout the Midwest, and across the border in Minnesota, where all fleets and other diesel users fuel with B20 throughout the warm weather months, thanks to a state fuel standard.

Approximately half of the biodiesel produced in the U.S. is made from soybean oil. Soybeans are 80 percent meal and 20 percent oil. Biodiesel production uses only the oil portion, leaving the protein available for food and feed.

The city partnered with farmers to utilize South Dakota Soybean checkoff dollars for this B20 pilot program.

Through this partnership, the city is receiving a 25-cent discount on each gallon of B20 (up to 120,000 gallons).

“This project has proven that biodiesel is a valid option for fleets and a more environmentally friendly fuel with no modifications to vehicles needed,” said David Struck, vice chairman of the South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and fourth-generation farmer from Wolsey. “Biodiesel also helps with the economic stability of South Dakota farm families.”

City fleet vehicles are expected to use 120,000 gallons in 2022. Making the switch to B20 means:

  • 24,000 gallons of petroleum diesel won’t be used

  • Carbon emissions will be reduced by more than 450,000 pounds

This reduction is equivalent to taking 44 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles off the road for one year or driving 508,065 fewer miles in a gas-powered car. For the environment, it’s the same as planting 3,384 trees this year and having them absorb carbon through 2032.

The city will continue to use B20 through the fall before switching to a winter blend when temperatures begin to dip.

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