Washington state to mandate biodiesel

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Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire is expected to sign a bill mandating that at least 2 percent of all gasoline sold in the state be ethanol and that at least 2 percent of the state’s aggregate consumption of diesel be biodiesel. The bill also mandates that state vehicle fleets use at least 20 percent biodiesel.

Meanwhile, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced that Louis Dreyfus Agriculture Industries will build the world’s largest biodiesel plant near Claypool. The plant is expected to produce 250,000 gallons of biodiesel per day or more than 80 million gallons per year.

The new requirements at the pump in Washington would take effect December 2008, while diesel-powered state vehicles and equipment would have to comply as of June 2009.

California, Hawaii, Minnesota, Montana and Ohio also require a certain percentage of fuel to be obtained from renewable sources such as ethanol or biodiesel. Only Minnesota requires a percentage of each diesel fill-up to be biodiesel.

Biodiesel is a non-petroleum fuel produced from sources such as vegetable oil. The U.S. Department of Energy has stated that diesel-biodiesel blends of up to 20 percent biodiesel can be used in nearly all diesel equipment with little or no engine modifications. Higher blends also can be used in many engines built since 1994.