Farm Progress

B20 Just Around the Corner

Snow. Freezing rain. Subzero temperatures. It’s no wonder many of us look to the future, as in spring and summer. As the saying goes, “All things seem possible in May.”

Minnesota residents can rest assured, however, that on May 1, 2018, a new dawn arrives with the introduction of B20, a fuel blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel. Once again, the Gopher state will be at the forefront of the renewable-fuels movement, led by soybean farmers.

Biodiesel is produced with the oil portion of the soybean, leaving the protein for use by livestock and people. This makes it an ideal by-product, since the oil is often discarded.

Why B20 Matters to All of Us

If you don’t drive a diesel vehicle, you may be thinking, “This has no impact on my life.”

Think again. More than 95 percent of all large, heavy-duty trucks are diesel-powered, as are a majority of medium-duty trucks. They move more than 90 percent of the nation’s freight. And don’t forget public transit, school buses and construction equipment. Things we all come in contact every day are powered by diesel.

Clearing the Air

The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes biodiesel as the only advanced biofuel for its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent. According to the American Lung Association of Minnesota, the move to B20 this year will prevent 163 tons of particulate pollution and 1,820 tons of carbon monoxide from entering Minnesota air. The resulting reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will be staggering: 671,000 tons.

It’s the Economy

Nationwide, there are approximately 200 biodiesel plants across the country, supporting nearly 48,000 jobs. These are often hard-hit areas where employment options are few. In just over 15 years, the biodiesel market in the United States has increased from about 25 million gallons to more than 2.8 billion gallons. Biodiesel increases annual demand for Minnesota’s soybean crop by 13 percent, and in-state soybean processing capacity by 31 percent.

Biodiesel fuel has been tried and tested in Minnesota. Great things are on the horizon in May.

Learn more about the benefits of biodiesel in Minnesota from the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council website.

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