The Minnesota Biodiesel Council (MBC) December 23 requested that the Department of Commerce grant a temporary variance on the state's biodiesel requirement.

The request came after some petroleum terminals in Minnesota reported that they had discovered some of their biodiesel inventory contained more total glycerin than permitted under the ASTM D6751 standard for pure biodiesel.

"A 15-day variance will give terminals and other blenders the time needed to test their biodiesel inventory and re-supply," said Don Louwagie, Chairman of MBC. "We feel very strongly that biodiesel that does not meet the required standards, has no place in the marketplace. Biodiesel producers and terminal operators must take immediate steps to control quality so that biodiesel can move forward in Minnesota.

"Let me be clear that the issue is not statewide and there are many Minnesota diesel users and fleets that are not experiencing problems," Louwagie said. Biodiesel producers and distributors are urged to become accredited producers or certified marketers through BQ-9000, the industry's quality assurance program.

A Diesel Helpline has been established through the University of Minnesota Center for Diesel Research. Minnesota residents experiencing a problem are urged to report it at 800-929-3437.

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) supports the actions of the MBC and both groups are working cooperatively with the Petroleum Marketers Association of Minnesota, Minnesota petroleum producers, terminals and distributors and diesel users to correct the problem and ensure that no further quality issues arise.

Source: National Biodiesel Board, The Biodiesel Bulletin