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Industry group starts B20 club

Industry group starts B20 club

The Indiana Soybean Alliance and American Lung Association are showcasing fleets that use biodiesel

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

An ag and health industry organization are working together to highlight companies committed to using biodiesels.

On Dec. 15, the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the American Lung Association launched the B20 Club of Indiana to recognize and support Indiana-based fleets running on biodiesel blends of 20 percent or higher.

The fuel can be produced using multiple ag products including recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats.

“The B20 Club is a great way to tell the stories of fleets in diverse applications that are protecting the health of residents and the environment by reducing diesel emissions through the use of biodiesel,” Helena Jette, biofuels director with the Indiana Soybean Alliance, said in a statement.

The club currently has four members – Al Warren Oil Company, Altom Transport  Inc., Ball State University and the City of Fort Wayne.

To become a member, an organization must have at least 15 vehicles using biodiesel blends of 20 percent or higher for at least six months of the year.

At Ball State University, for example, the school’s 31 transit buses have been using B20 since 2009.

Biodiesel provides a greener alternative to traditional diesel fuels.

B20 fleets around the country use about 1.3 million gallons of the biodiesel each year.

The cleaner fuel eliminates about 394 pounds of unburned hydrocarbons (a compound of hydrogen and carbon found in petroleum) and 148 pounds of particulate matter (a mixture of solid and liquid droplets found in the air), data from the American Lung Association says.

These greener fleets also provide an annual health cost savings of nearly $60,000 and reduce emissions by about 4.9 million pounds of carbon dioxide. This amounts to planting about 37,000 trees annually.

“Choosing a B20 or higher blend of biodiesel instead of petroleum-based diesel fuel is a simple and cost-effective way for fleets and diesel vehicle owners to reduce their emissions overnight,” Bailey Arnold, senior manager of clean air initiatives with the American Lung Association, said in a statement. “Biodiesel is readily available today, and we encourage any diesel vehicle operator to consider using biodiesel as a cleaner-burning, renewable alternative to petroleum-based diesel fuel.”

At least one other state is already working with the American Lung Association on their own B20 clubs.

The Illinois Soybean Association launched its club in 2015. State members include the Chicago Park District and the City of Moline.

Since 2014, state club members have consumed nearly 30 million gallons of B20 in Illinois.

Iowa has a B20 club as well, which is sponsored by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

Iowa is the country’s number one producer of biofuel. The state produced 365 million gallons of biodiesel in 2018 and its 11 plants can produce 400 million gallons annually.

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