MN Department of Commerce Grants MBC Request to Temporarily Waive B5 in Kerosene

MANKATO, MN (01/12/2010)(readMedia)-- The Minnesota Biodiesel Council (MBC) learned yesterday that the Minnesota Department of Commerce has granted its request to temporarily waive the five percent biodiesel mandate for kerosene in the state. MBC representatives prepared the following statement in an effort to further explain its request.

The arctic blast that has caused record low temperatures in many parts of the country has created challenges for regular diesel fuel, which gels at low temperature if not properly treated. For the last two winters the state of Minnesota has not experienced decreases in diesel vehicle cold weather performance compared to other states and has conclusively demonstrated that low blend biodiesel fuel has similar cold temperature performance as regular diesel fuel.

The biodiesel and petroleum industries have been monitoring reports of very rare instances of filter clogging of storage tanks containing 5 percent biodiesel and pure kerosene (ULSD No. 1). These rare reports in Minnesota are occurring in extremely cold temperatures and only in tank dispensing filters with certain types of kerosene and some types biodiesel.

Blends of biodiesel in regular diesel fuel (ULSD No. 2), regular diesel, and kerosene continue to perform as expected. The few reports in question are related to dispenser and storage tank filters; equipment and engine operations do not appear to have been significantly impacted.

Biodiesel and petroleum industry stakeholders are analyzing this rare phenomenon to determine the best means to address it.

The temporary waiver request was made jointly by the MBC and Minnesota Petroleum Marketers Association on Friday in order to allow time to determine root causes and next steps. The requested waiver does not change the B5 requirement in regular diesel fuel. Since kerosene is not often used in pure form as a diesel fuel, this temporary adjustment is not expected to have a large impact on the amount of biodiesel used in Minnesota. Industry experts expect the issue to be better understood and resolved over the next eight months.

The Minnesota Biodiesel Council is made up of biodiesel stakeholders, producers, feedstock suppliers and others. Its mission is to promote the use and understanding of biodiesel, educate consumers and biodiesel industry partners, and to advance the use and acceptance of biodiesel as an alternative to petroleum-based diesel fuel.