Minnesota Biodiesel Shows Improvement

John Davis

A year ago, clogged fuel filters and angry truckers were a big part of the biodiesel scene in Minnesota, where the state had just implemented a biodiesel requirement. But according to this story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, this past winter was much better:

Truckers in Minnesota still experienced lots of clogged fuel filters over the winter, but an extensive analysis at the University of Minnesota found that other problems – not biodiesel-related – were overwhelmingly to blame. Kelly Strebig, a U research engineer, nevertheless got an earful on the Minnesota Diesel Help Line.

“When we got the real cold weather in late January and February, then we got a lot of calls, complaints from throughout the state,” Strebig said. “Of those, we really had very few that we could trace to the biodiesel problem.”

NBB logo Nationally, “we did see sporadic incidents that had to do both with fuel quality and some handling issues,” said Jenna Higgins, a National Biodiesel Board spokeswoman. “But in general, I would say that the fuel suppliers have a heightened awareness of what it takes to produce a quality product every time. And as they become more savvy, the problems are decreasing.”

Things seem to be getting so much better, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty wants to raise the state’s 2% biodiesel mandate to 5% once the last of the problems are fixed.