Minnesota begins fifth year of B20

Per Minnesota law, starting April 1 Minnesota begins moving toward a 20-percent biodiesel blend (B20) during the summer months before reverting back to five percent biodiesel blend (B5) on Oct. 1. This is the fifth year of a B20 requirement in Minnesota, ensuring the state remains a leader in the nation’s biofuels movement.

“Study after study shows that biodiesel is a proven, reliable solution to address climate and energy concerns. It’s reducing carbon right here, right now,” said Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Senior Director of Product Development & Commercialization Mike Youngerberg, who’s also executive director of the Minnesota Biodiesel Council. “As we move into the fifth year of the B20 biodiesel blend requirement, it is important to remind ourselves of the countless benefits this Advanced Biofuel provides for our state. From the soybean farmers who grow the renewable fuel to the end users, we all reap the benefits of the less carbon intense, greenhouse gas reducing fuel.”

In 2020, using B20 in the summer and B5 in the winter has removed an estimated 1,252,967 tons of CO2 from the air. This equates to removing the emissions of nearly 246,000 passenger vehicles each year. According to the National Biodiesel Board, biodiesel Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reductions are on average 80% below petroleum diesel. Studies show biodiesel lowers particulate matter by 47%, reducing smog and improving Minnesota’s environment. Each year, cleaner-burning, renewable biodiesel displaces roughly 130 million gallons of petroleum diesel in Minnesota.

Along with the environmental benefits, biodiesel in Minnesota contributes nearly $1.7 billion toward the state’s economy, adding about 5,400 jobs and boosting demand for soybeans by 13% (equating to an estimated 63 cents additional value to every bushel of soybeans). Minnesota supports biodiesel plants in Albert Lea, Brewster and Isanti, which produce approximately 85 million gallons of the renewable fuel each year.

“Over the course of two decades, biodiesel has proven to be an economic and environmental winner throughout our state,” MSR&PC Chair Joe Serbus said. “The Council is proud to work alongside farmers, state agencies and all the important players along the supply chain to make biodiesel a long-term success story in Minnesota. It continues to improve farmer profitability and clean Minnesota’s air.”

The Minnesota Department of Commerce reminds Minnesotans the biodiesel blend requirement applies to sales of diesel meant to be used in internal combustion engines, not to fuel already stored in bulk storage tanks at farms or other businesses. All bulk diesel sold and delivered to tanks that fuel diesel equipment, such as construction equipment, truck fleets, farm equipment and generators, must contain at least the following minimums:

Deliveries between October 1 – March 31: 5%
Deliveries between April 1 – April 14 (Transition to 20%): 10%
Deliveries between April 15 – September 30: 20%

Last year, the Council launched mnbiodiesel.com. In March 2022, Minnesota Soybean celebrated the 20th anniversary of the B2 mandate becoming law in 2002.

“There’s no question that our farmer leaders played a huge role in biodiesel becoming reality in Minnesota,” Minnesota Soybean Growers Association President Mike Skaug said. “It’s a been a total team effort from the start.”

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