This month buses running in Rochester, Minnesota will be fueled with a B20 biodiesel blend (20 percent biodiesel). Today, the state requires the use of B10. Rochester Public Transit (RPT) has been using a B10 blend for several years but has made the move to a B20 blend two years before the state’s B20 mandate kicks in on May 1, 2018. According to the American Lung Association in Minnesota (ALAMN), the move to B20 will even further reduce emissions with no need to make major investments in vehicles or fueling infrastructure. RPT expects to see fuel saving between two and five cents per gallon with the B20 blend.
“Using this higher biodiesel blend will have an immediate effect on the air pollutants these buses emit, reducing particulate matter, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions,” said Kelly Marczak, regional senior director for clean air at the ALAMN. “It also represents another step away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner, more sustainable fuels produced here in Minnesota.”
Minnesota was the first state in the nation to require the use of biodiesel in diesel-based vehicles. In summer months – June through September- the use of B10 is required, increasing to B20 in 2018. In winter months, B5 is used.
According to ALAMN, using B20 in summer months will reduce GHG emissions by 15 percent as compared to petroleum diesel. Biodiesel also offers other benefits as detailed in a recent analysis.