In 2002, Minnesota became the first state to require that all diesel fuel sold here contain at least 2 percent blend of biodiesel. On May 1, 2018, Minnesota will be the first to move to B20, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.
Currently 10 percent biodiesel is required to be blended with #2 diesel fuel from April 1 to September 30 each year, with the blend lowered to B5 for the colder weather months of October through March. The statute now reads that the mandate will move to B20 on May 1, 2018. Implementation of the B10 mandate was delayed until July 1, 2014 due to inadequate blending infrastructure in the southwestern area of the state, and inadequate regulatory protocol for Minnesota Weights and Measures enforcement. Both of those obstacles were determined to have been overcome in the summer of 2013, and B10 was implemented in 2014.
According to state statute, the requirements for B10 and B20 are only be effective during the summer months (April through September). In winter, the mandate will revert back to 5 percent unless state officials and technical experts determine that accepted federal standards deem certain higher blends as suitable for year-round use in Minnesota. In addition, before implementing blending requirements of B10 and B20, state officials must ensure that a variety of conditions are met including sufficient fuel and/or feedstock supply, adequate blending infrastructure, and the existence of federal standards for mandated blends.
Minnesota has three biodiesel plants with a combined production capacity of approximately 63 million gallons, as follows:
- REG (Albert Lea) – 30 million gallons
- Minnesota Soybean Processors (Brewster) – 30 million gallons
- EverCat Fuels (Isanti) – 3 million gallons
The U.S. EPA 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 (ALAMN), 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.