B20 workshops traversing Minnesota

March 8, 2018 / by Minnesota Soybean Categories: Biodiesel/Biofuels, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council

The Be Ready for B20 workshops are taking place this month throughout Minnesota in advance of the May 1, 2018 implementation of B20 (20 percent biodiesel). Tuesday’s session was held in Mankato and featured representatives from MegCorp, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Department of Commerce.

More than 50 people, ranging from truckers to fuel distributors to farmers, attended the two-hour session.

“I have no issues at all going to B20,” said Hoon Ge, president of MegCorp, a fuel consulting company. “Matter of fact, I was more worried going from B5 to B10.”

Bob Patton, a Minnesota Department of Agriculture supervisor, presented an overview of Minnesota’s biodiesel statue, which spans more than a decade since the B2 blending requirement was implemented in 2005 before graduating to B5 in 2009 and B10 in 2014.

Patton laid out the four standards in the biodiesel statute that MDA, the Department of Commerce and Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency all approved prior to the upcoming May 1 implementation: an ASTM standard, sufficient supply to meet 50 percent or more of Minnesota’s biodiesel demand, adequate blending infrastructure and 5 percent of the supply must be made from alternative feedstock.

“Minnesota has been leading the national biodiesel charge and that continues with B20,” Patton says. “We want to make this statue work and help to promote the benefits of biodiesel.”

Julie Quinn, Department of Commerce director of the Weights & Measures Division, explained the department’s guidelines on enforcing  compliance, spring and fall blending, and inspections and waivers.

“We’re happy and eager to work with distributors to help with compliance,” she said. “We don’t necessarily have a vested interested in biodiesel one way or another. We just enforce the law; what we care about is equity in the marketplace. What that means is, if you have to meet these conditions, my job is make sure your competitor also has to meet these conditions because that’s what creates an equal marketplace.”

Quinn said because B10 and B20 are the ASTM standard, the Department of Commerce has no expectation there will be any compatibility issues with the move to B20.

Hoon Ge closed the workshop with a biodiesel basics tutorial and primer on common diesel fuel issues and best practices for storage and handling.

“Everyone here is working as a team,” he said. “Biodiesel is mandated in Minnesota, and it’s here to stay.”

The workshops continue through March. Click here for upcoming Be Ready for B20 sessions.

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