Higher biodiesel blend called a success

Farm Forum

MANKATO, Minn. — The first summer of the state’s new biodiesel mandate — meant as a test for using 10 percent biodiesel — is done and industry leaders say it was a success.

“The implementation of B10 went very well,” George Goblish, president of the Mankato-based Minnesota Soybean Growers Association said in a statement. “I think we alleviated the concerns of truckers and auto manufacturers.”

The trucking and diesel-engine industries had concerns when the Legislature approved a higher blend of biodiesel, worrying it could gel up and harm engines and that the costs of biodiesel could eventually rise beyond the level of traditional diesel.

Minnesota-based MEG Corp., a fuel consulting company, took samples in September from retailers across three regions in Minnesota — north, metro and south — to test oxidative stability, a measure of degradation caused by exposure to oxygen.

“All of them met the specification and went well beyond,” said Lisa Pedderson, director operations for MEG.

All of the samples surpassed the minimum required specification for oxidative stability and most of the samples were three to four times the minimum.

Industry leaders said the stability of the fuel shows that consumers who buy it can be assured it will be good for at least a year under typical storage conditions.

Minnesota, like many states, has had a year-round blend rate of 5 percent biodiesel. The higher 10 percent blend will be used only during warm weather months. From Oct. 1 to April 1, B5 is used to reduce concerns about gelling in cold weather.