B20 Biodiesel Use Translates to $1.2M Health Cost Savings

Cindy Zimmerman

Pictured: Ken Crowley, Village of Oak Park; Sarah Mark, City of Moline; John DeRosa, ALA; J.D. Schulte, City of Moline; and Ben Schaefer, ALA

Illinois communities that routinely use B20 biodiesel fuel in diesel vehicles receive an estimated $1.2 million in health cost savings, according to data submitted by 15 members of the B20 Club, a partnership between the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program and the American Lung Association in Illinois (ALAIL). B20 Club members include Illinois-based municipalities, trucking companies, fuel suppliers and other fleets that use biodiesel blends of 20 percent or more for at least six months of the year.

“Vehicles fueled with B20 biodiesel generate less harmful emissions that contribute to asthma, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease and other health ailments,” says John DeRosa, ALAIL environmental health director. “Considering hospitalizations, lost work days and other health costs, using B20 translates into an estimated savings of $1,218,100 for the communities where B20 Club members operate.”

ALAIL compiled the health cost savings estimates based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) diesel emission quantifier (DEQ). Estimates are based primarily on biodiesel’s ability to reduce particulate matter (PM), a mixture of small particles and liquid droplets that are major components of air pollution. When inhaled, PM affects the heart and lungs and causes serious health problems.

As a group, the 15 B20 Club members reduce PM in their communities by a total of 1.2 tons per year. Using biodiesel also reduces carbon emissions. B20 Club members reduce carbon dioxide in their communities at a level equal to planting 295,141 trees. These fleets collectively use 6.3 million gallons of biodiesel annually to fuel 4,899 vehicles.

The B20 Club was launched in 2015 to bring cleaner air to Illinois while supporting Illinois agriculture and the state economy.

Biodiesel, Biodiesel Conference, Environment