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Pumping Research Into Biodiesel

State biodiesel research aims to find new opportunities, increase soybean oil demand

As biodiesel production grows, so do soybean farmers’ profits.

Biodiesel helps drive demand for U.S. soybean oil, which is why many state soybean boards invest in biodiesel research to see what the future holds for the renewable fuel. Thanks in part to the checkoff’s support, U.S. biodiesel production has increased from nearly 75 million gallons in 2005 to 1.28 billion gallons last year.

Here are few examples of how soy checkoff funds are being used at the state level to conduct research and promote biodiesel.

  • The Alabama Soybean Producers supported an Auburn University project in 2012 to promote biodiesel to the Alabama Fleet Managers Association. The project educated fleet managers on using biodiesel in municipal diesel-powered vehicles.
  • The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board is funding a project through the University of Arkansas to create a mobile classroom. This will be used to educate farmers, extension staff and other agriculture professionals about the performance of biodiesel.
  • The Kansas Soybean Commission provided funding to the University of Kansas to see how the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) properties of biodiesel varied over time spent in storage. It was discovered that over the course of 74 weeks, the only fuel property that did not meet the limits set by the ASTM standards was oxidation stability.
  • Thanks in part to past biodiesel-promotion efforts led by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSRPC), Minnesota will become the first state to require diesel fuel sold during the warm-weather months to contain 10 percent biodiesel starting in July 2014. MSRPC has worked with the National Biodiesel Board, American Lung Association and others on research and promotion of biodiesel’s environmental and economic benefits.

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