Two months ago the state of Minnesota, the nation’s leading biodiesel maker, passed a law requiring all diesel be replaced with biodiesel. Now truckers who use the fuel are discovering their vehicle’s fuel filters are clogging with the soybean-blended fuel the most likely culprit.
"What we believe is occurring is that some of the biodiesel is fairly high in glycerin, which is a saturated fatty acid, essentially," said John Hofland, a spokesman for Flint Hills Resources, which refines half of the state’s diesel fuel. "At certain glycerin levels, there appears to be a waxy substance forming at temperatures of zero to minus-10. What we've determined is, if we use a biodiesel that's lower in glycerin, we don't see this problem in colder weather."
The Minnesota trucking industry, with the support of the state's soybean growers, has asked state governor Tim Pawlenty to waive (temporarily) the biodiesel requirement.