Breathing Easier after a Decade of the MN Biodiesel Fuel Standard

New analysis finds dramatic effect on emissions in state

Minnesota’s commitment to biodiesel use has paid off with a direct and lasting impact on air quality, according to new figures released by the American Lung Association of Minnesota (ALAMN).

“I think the amount and scale of the air pollution we are preventing right now by blending biodiesel would surprise many people,” says Robert Moffitt, director of media relations for ALAMN. “For example, each year the current summer and winter blends we are using are estimated to prevent 163 tons of particulate matter, 216 tons of hydrocarbon and 1,820 tons of carbon monoxide emissions.”

The current use of B5 and B10 blends, Moffitt says, is equal to removing 128,000 passenger vehicles from Minnesota’s roads each year.

ALAMN also found that during the 10-year period with biodiesel as a fuel standard for Minnesota, a reduction of more than 7.4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to more than 3.7 million tons of carbon dioxide, has already been realized.

“While the newer diesel engines have sophisticated emissions control features, it will still be many years before all of the diesel engines in use have them,” said Moffitt. “As our scientific and medical understanding of the health effects of air pollution improves, our federal air quality standards get tougher. That’s exactly how the Clean Air Act was meant to work, and with some help from cleaner-burning fuels like biodiesel, all of Minnesota’s counties currently meet federal air quality standards.”


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