It’ll be available at Crookston pumps; Melbye hopes problems are minimal

    "Biodiesel is a clean fuel option that has great benefits," said manager of the American Lung Association of Minnesota Jon Hunter during an informational meeting at the Crookston American Legion in advance of the new B-10 biodiesel fuel mandate in Minnesota, which kicks in today, July 1.   

    "Be Ready for B-10," a traveling workshop that stopped in Crookston, announced that diesel drivers will see the new B10 fuel at the pump starting on July 1. It is Minnesota's first required 10 percent biodiesel blend that will be sold during the summer months. In September, the biodiesel falls back to the current and cold-capable B5 blend. In 2015, B10 will be available between April and September annually. The workshop is sponsored by the Minnesota Clean Air Choice Team made up of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, American Lung Association, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Minnesota Office of Energy Security, General Motors Corporation and U.S. Department of Energy - Clean Cities.   

    "All six of our diesel pumps will have B10," Ampride and Crookston Fuel Manager Wayne Melbye told the Times. "A lot of the farmers understand the use of biodiesel. They're hoping when it gets to that high of a ratio that it's going to work. Some of my guys say they'd put in B20 if it will work. We went from B2 to B5 and there were a lot of problems with filters, but I think they've gotten it down now. The big thing is the cold weather. They can blend it off and get it down to 5 percent, but they may be using more B1 which will make it more expensive."   

    Melbye continued with, "Most of the guys on our board say they tested it (B5)  in a freezer or something in the cities, but that doesn't compare when you have wind chill and sitting over night. It'd be nice if they did a little more testing, but we will see what happens. The bad thing is if the testing they did isn't comparable, we will see gelled up filters and such. If they would use all soy (in the fuel), it wouldn't do half the bad things. When they use animal fat is when they get into trouble. I don't expect anyone here to have any problems and we'll see how it goes."   

    Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative fuel made from domestic, renewable sources. In Minnesota, the primary source is soybean oil but it can also be produced from other vegetable oils, animal fats and used cooking oil. The term biodiesel refers to pure, unblended fuel and is referred to as B100. Like petroleum diesel, biodiesel must meet strict quality standards before it is accepted into the fuel distribution systems. Biodiesel itself contains no petroleum, but can be blended with petroleum-based diesel at any percentage. Biodiesel blends are indicated with a "B" and followed by a number which represents the percentage of biodiesel in a gallon of fuel. For example, B10 would mean 10 percent biodiesel blended with 90 percent petroleum diesel.