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Soybean farmers, Clean Cities encourage more Kansans to try biodiesel

Soybean farmers, Clean Cities encourage more Kansans to try biodiesel

Kansas fleets and individual motorists driving diesel vehicles now can get up to $2,000 of their annual fuel bills paid, just by using biodiesel blends.

Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from vegetable oils and fats left over from food production. It can be used in any diesel engine, without modifications, in blends of up to 20 percent (B20).

Under the program, in a calendar year, fleets can receive a $1 per gallon rebate for up to 2,000 gallons of any biodiesel blend above 10 percent (B10). Individuals driving diesel trucks or cars can receive the same $1 per gallon rebate, up to $200 for the year, for blends above 5 percent (B5). The overall program is capped at $5,000 annually.

“Sometimes the biggest hurdle in adopting a new technology or product, like an alternative fuel, is just trying it for the first time,” said Shawn Schmidt, program coordinator for Central Kansas Clean Cities. “An incentive of a dollar per gallon should be enough to convince some drivers and fleets to try biodiesel, and our hope is getting over that initial hurdle will keep them coming back.”

Clean Cities is a Department of Energy program dedicated to reducing petroleum usage in communities. Central Kansas Clean Cities is managed through the Metropolitan Energy Center, a nonprofit based in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Biodiesel is an American-made fuel that reduces greenhouse gases, increases our energy security and supports our economy,” said Dennis Gruenbacher, who farms near Andale and serves on the Kansas Soybean Commission. “Our hope from this project is that more Kansans will recognize biodiesel blends as a superior American fuel.”

Many public and private fleets use diesel buses, trucks, snow plows, off-road equipment and more. And there are more diesel passenger vehicles available than ever. Rising to the challenge of building cars with better fuel economy, many auto companies have turned to diesel technology as a highly fuel-efficient and clean option. There are about 50 clean-diesel car, truck and SUV models available at dealerships nationwide.

Biodiesel blends can be found at several fueling stations throughout the state, including Robson Oil in Abilene and Love’s Travel Stops in Dodge City and Ottawa. Fleets usually can obtain custom blends by working with their fuel suppliers or switching to new fuel suppliers.

Visit the National Biodiesel Board’s Guide to Buying Biodiesel or the Energy Department’s Alternative Fuel Data Center to find locations.

The Kansas Soybean Commission funds the rebates through the soybean checkoff, supported by soybean farmers.

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