Biodiesel in MN Has Big Effect on Lowering Emissions

Joanna Schroeder

According to a new analysis from the American Lung Association of Minnesota, using biodiesel has had a dramatic effect on lowering harmful tailpipe emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cites mobile transportation accounts for more than half of all air pollution in the U.S. However, in Minnesota, they represent the largest single source. To help combat air pollution, Minnesota requires a 10 percent biodiesel blend (B10) in diesel fuel during warm weather months and B5 during cold months. According to the American Lung Association, one way to lower emissions are achieved is through the production of feedstocks, such as soybeans, that absorb and capture carbon that is later converted into a renewable fuel such as biodiesel.

Studies have found that biodiesel, when compared to traditional diesel fuel, reduces CO2 emissions by 78 percent. While cars with better emission controls help to reduce emissions, they do not prevent CO2 emissions.

infographic-biofuel1Taking into account the transition to new, clean diesel engines, the analysis conducted used the National Biodiesel Board’s (NBB) biodiesel emissions calculator that is based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s reported diesel use in Minnesota for the years 2005 to 2015. The analysis showed the state has prevented a sizable amount of air pollutants from being emitted, including 2.5 million pounds of hydrocarbon, 1.9 million pounds of particulate matter and 3.7 million tons of lifecycle CO2 emissions.

The American Lung Association of Minnesota reports that utilizing biodiesel blends while transitioning to newer cars on the road is playing an important role in keeping the state’s air clean.

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