KEYC - Mankato News, Weather, Sports - - Biodiesel Making Greater Impact In Minnesota

Biodiesel Making Greater Impact In Minnesota

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MANKATO, Minn. -

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has attempted toincrease the inclusion of biodiesel fuel from its current 5% to 10%. However,its previous attempt to institute the increased biodiesel rate was deniedNovember 3, 2011.

Tom Slunecka says, "Biodiesel is taking a lot of ourproducts that would normally just be used for feed and now has gotten a greatervalue for it and is helping develop communities all across the state."

Biodiesel is primarily created from the oil content of thesoybean. Soybeans are comprised of 18 – 20% oil, an oil that is not utilized bycattle or livestock. Through modern technology, alternative fuel companies areable to extract that oil from the soybean, and then use that same bean forlivestock feed. The oil is then processed to create biodiesel, a fuel that canhomogenize with standard diesel fuel.

Tom Slunecka says, "10% of our fuel will now come fromhomegrown sources right here within the borders of Minnesota."

In order to legally begin selling B–10 fuel, the Departmentof Agriculture had to meet four specific conditions, conditions it has now met,to distribute the fuel to diesel vehicles.

Tom Slunecka says, "Biofuels, that carbon life cyclestays within that same year. So, yes, we plant the plants, they produce starchand sugars and we use those and burn those, they go back in the atmosphere, andthey are used again by that plant."

Because soybeans utilize carbon dioxide in the growingprocess, the inclusion of biodiesel greatly lessens the environmental impactfrom burning fossil fuels.

With B–10 being implemented July 1, TheMinnesota Department of Agriculture hopes to see B–20 implemented May 1st,2015.