Minnesota on July 1 will become the first state in the U.S. to offer a 10% biodiesel blend during the summer months, a statement from the state's soybean board said on Sunday.
The shift from only B5 to the B10 blend from April through September was part of a bill passed in 2008 which set a 2013 deadline for the move. That deadline was missed, however, because of inadequate blending infrastructure and a regulatory concern.
Legislation brought forward during the Minnesota legislative session that ended May 16 attempted to derail the bill but was unsuccessful, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association said.
"I'm very pleased that common sense is still alive and well and that our legislators voted for what was good for Minnesota," says George Goblish, MSGA president. "The decision to continue moving forward is good for air quality in Minnesota, energy diversity and its good for the economy."
Made primarily from vegetable oils like soybean oil, expanding Minnesota's biodiesel percentage to B10 is expected to reduce harmful air emissions, according to MSGA.
In addition, increasing the blend from B5 to B10 will mean an additional demand of 20 million gallons of biodiesel each year on top of the current usage of 40 million gallons. MSGA adds that the state's current operating production capacity is over 60 million gallons per year.
"We are definitely blazing trails here," says Ron Marr, biodiesel marketing director for Minnesota Soybean Processors in Brewster, Minn. "A lot of other states are watching Minnesota to see if the move to B10 would happen. They're thinking that if it we can do it, they can, too."
News source: Minnesota Soybean Growers Association