Original article by Inside Indiana Business
The recently-formed B20 Club of Indiana is looking to showcase the benefits of biodiesel on fleets throughout the state. The club was established through a partnership between the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the American Lung Association with four inaugural members using B20, a cleaner-burning blend of biodiesel and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. Helena Jette, biofuels director for the Indiana Soybean Alliance, says the club aims to dispel the myths surrounding biodiesel, which also supporting the state’s farmers who grow the soybeans needed to produce it.
Jette says the club was formed as the alliance was looking for ways to create a foundation to build on biodiesel demand.
“It was a way for a platform to happen so that the organization could figure out who’s using the product, who’s interested in using the product, and how could we help troubleshoot some of those misnomers or those myths around biodiesel and fuel quality and so we put together a team.”
As she was putting together a team, Jette found that the city of Fort Wayne had been using B20 for nearly 20 years. The city became the first member of the B20 Club in order to help spread the word about the benefits of biodiesel.
“What better way to talk to others who are interested or are using it who are trying to troubleshoot than those who have been using it for so long. So, we’ve got different team members around the state. Having a diverse portfolio of these experts that can help assist the fleets with questions around the fuel quality, helping the co-ops troubleshoot either with the farmer, the company, the fuel supplier…these are all things that the B20 Club can help.”
B20 uses a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. The B20 Club says the fleets will use nearly 1.3 million gallons of the fuel blend annually, which will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and equivalents by nearly 5 million pounds.
Jette says in addition to the fleets, the B20 Club aims to bring benefits to soybean farmers as well.
“The market for diesel is secure for quite some time,” she said. “And so that certainty in the market helps give peace of mind for the farmer, but right now the way soybean prices are going, they’re great for our farmers. Biodiesel for Indiana is bringing upwards of 63 to 75 cents extra per bushel and that’s money in their pocket. And so, having the farmers know that this is a product homegrown here in Indiana; it’s Earth friendly; it’s cutting emissions by average of 85%; really, it’s economic.”
She says the demand for biodiesel creates an opportunity for Indiana to expand capacity beyond its one biodiesel plant in the Kosciusko County town of Claypool.
In addition to the city of Fort Wayne, the club launched with inaugural members Ball State University, Hammond-based Al Warren Oil Co., and its sister company, Altom Transport with fleets totaling nearly 700 vehicles. Jette says the club just signed on the Muncie Indiana Transit System, or MITS, which was partially the result of Ball State’s participation.
Jette says that word of mouth aspect is a key factor in growing the club at a steady pace. She says vetting potential members is an important part of that growth.
“We want to make sure that we’ve collected the data, making sure we understand that organization’s needs and having just the knowledge of where they’re at and making sure that it’s a good fit for the organization because we want to make sure they can call each other if they have questions. As this grows, I see future summits. I see awards. I see grant opportunities.”
You can learn more about the B20 Club of Indiana by clicking here.