Soy News June 2001
New Study Indicates Soy-derived Fuel Can Lower Costs
A new report by a University of Minnesota economist shows blending petroleum diesel fuel with a 2 percent level of soy-based biodiesel has only a six-tenths-of-a-cent impact on the retail price of diesel fuel. If a proposed federal biodiesel tax incentive were in place, economist Douglas Tiffany’s analysis shows retail diesel blended with the soy-based alternative fuel could save highway diesel fuel users money.
"Current figures demonstrate that the cost of diesel at the retail level will remain fairly steady if it contains a low-level blend of soy-based biodiesel," says Tiffany, a research fellow in the Department of Applied Economics. “When the price of regular diesel increases relative to the price of soy-based biodiesel, the replacement of just 2 percent has less and less of a per-gallon impact on the retail price. With a proposed federal tax exemption for biodiesel, the retail price of diesel blended with the soy-based alternative will go down, making biodiesel even more economical than it already is.
The University of Minnesota economist's report on soy-based biodiesel also demonstrates significant benefits to U.S. soybean farmers in the form of increased utilization of U.S. soybeans.
Tiffany's analysis also uses published data by the Food & Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri to predict the per bushel soybean price impact of blending soy-based biodiesel with regular diesel. For example, if all diesel fuel sold in Minnesota contained just 2 percent biodiesel, the economist says demand for soybean oil, which is used to make biodiesel, would raise the price of soybeans 5-9 cents per bushel across the nation. If the Minnesota diesel fuel supply contained 5 percent biodiesel, Tiffany says soybean prices would rise 12-18 cents a bushel nationally.
"Soy-based biodiesel provides multiple benefits for everyone," says Tiffany. "Low-level blends can lessen our reliance on foreign oil, improve our air quality, increase U.S. soybean utilization, strengthen our rural economies and improve diesel engine performance by reducing engine wear."
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Checkoff Informs Diesel Users There Is an Alternative
With fuel prices jumping again, so too is interest in alternative sources of energy, including soy-based biodiesel. The soybean checkoff has invested in several major projects around the country to increase the use of soy-based biodiesel, and they’re getting results with several state-based initiatives. More than 60 major diesel-powered fleets around the country now use up to a 20 percent blend of soy-based biodiesel with regular diesel. Another checkoff-funded program encourages the use of low-level blends of soy-based biodiesel as an easy way to integrate the alternative fuel into current applications. For example, in Minnesota, a 2 percent blend of soy-based biodiesel in all diesel sold in the state would utilize the oil from 11 million bushels of soybeans.
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U.S. Soybean Farmers Offer Soy Nutrition Solution to World's Hungry
U.S. soybean farmers have united to promote the use of soy products in worldwide food aid programs. The project, entitled World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH), offers opportunities for U.S. farmers to provide protein sources to undernourished and underfed nations, plus it helps U.S. soybean farmers by alleviating the current surplus and opening up new export markets. WISHH is funded by Qualified State Soybean Boards and supported by the United Soybean Board (USB) and the American Soybean Association. The WISHH initiative consists of five main activities: Private Volunteer Organization (PVO) planning, World Food Program assistance, the Global Food for Education initiative, the International AIDS initiative and humanitarian aid efforts.
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Stripping Paint with Soy
Soybean checkoff investments are helping raise awareness of a new soy-based paint stripper. Developed by Franmar Chemical, Inc. of Normal, Ill., Soy Gel is a safe, effective alternative to the hazardous methylene chloride, a traditional paint stripper. Soy Gel is nontoxic and biodegradable, reduces offensive odors that traditional paint strippers emit, removes multiples layers of paint in a single application, and reduces time and labor costs.
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Better Bean Initiative Variety Being Tested in North Carolina
The first soybean variety developed through the soybean checkoff-funded Better Bean Initiative (BBI) is being tested in North Carolina by the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Agriculture Re-search Service in Raleigh, N.C. The new variety has the potential to significantly reduce the level of saturated fat and linolenic acid in processed soybean oil, which is one of the BBI goals. This new variety and others developed by BBI have the potential to sustain and increase U.S. soybean farmers’ share of the global soybean market and also keep U.S. soybean farmers ahead of competing soybean-producing countries or other oilseeds.
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Let the Biodiesel Pumping Begin
A fueling station in San Francisco is the first to offer pure biodiesel to motorists at a public pump. The biodiesel pump - the result of a partnership between Olympian Inc., World Energy Alternatives and CytoCulture - opened on May 23. A similar fueling station in Sparks, Nev., near Reno is also offering 100 percent biodiesel, and as well as B20, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent diesel. Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning alternative fuel that can be burned in any diesel vehicle with little or no engine modification. Biodiesel and biodiesel blends, which have been successfully tested over more than 40 million miles, are being used by more than 80 major fleets nationwide.
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