Texas and Minnesota were both home to achievements in biodiesel development in late September.
The State of Texas recently awarded formal certification to Biodiesel Industries for its proprietary B-20 formulation. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) granted its approval for the fuel blend, making Biodiesel Industries the first company to hold this distinction in Texas.

This new biodiesel formula boasts significant emission reductions, including a reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) by more than 8 percent and particulate matter by more than 20 percent when compared to standard #2 diesel emissions, according to the Energy Management Institute. This makes it compliant with the new Texas Low Emission Diesel (TxLED) requirement.

Houston Ship Channel

Texans will now be able to reap the advantages of B-20 biodiesel. In addition to reduced emissions, the growing use of renewable biodiesel should reduce the need for imported oil. Tankers are shown here entering the Houston Ship Channel to offload petroleum, primarily from Venezuala. NAFTC Photo

TxLED regulation’s goal is to lower NOx emissions and other pollutants from diesel-powered vehicles. TxLED diesel fuel must contain less than 10 percent by volume of aromatic hydrocarbons and have a minimum cetane number of 48. As stated on TCEQ’s Web site, www.tceq.state.tx.us, the requirement was originally adopted in December 2000, revised in March 2005, and applies to diesel producers, importers, common carriers, distributors, transporters, bulk terminal operators, and retailers.

Biodiesel Industries began producing the fuel in 1999. According to its Web site, www.pipeline.to/biodiesel/, it runs the largest network of biodiesel production facilities in the United States. The company has plants in Colorado, Texas, California, and Australia. Its Web site states that Biodiesel Industries has a longstanding relationship with the world’s largest consumer of diesel fuel, the U.S. Navy.

Minnesota also achieved distinction in the biodiesel arena as it is the first state to implement a requirement that all diesel fuel sold within the state contain at least 2 percent biodiesel. This law is known as the B2 legislation, and it was promoted by the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA). Although the legislation passed in 2002, the initiative stipulated that before it could be enacted, Minnesota should have an annual biodiesel production capacity of at least 8 million gallons to ensure adequate supplies.

In the August 29 edition of the state register, Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson certified that the production capacity requirement had been met. The official implementation began September 29, 2005. The state currently has three biodiesel plants and leads the United States in annual biodiesel production capacity with 63 million gallons.

MSGA President Bob Worth stated that a study by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture determined that use of the 2 percent biodiesel blend increases the demand for Minnesota soybean oil by 92 million pounds, approximately 8.5 million bushels of soybeans. “It takes Mother Nature 250 million years to renew her fossil fuels; it takes Minnesota soybean farmers just six months,” boasted Worth.

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