AMES — Three new snowplows that run on biodiesel will soon be clearing Iowa’s roads.
Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, says the plows run on the blend called B-100, or pure biodiesel. “That’s something that’ll be exciting and prove that we can use it in any weather environment and at any blend level,” Kimberley says.
Consumers may be more used to seeing B-5 or B-20 blends which are five or 20-percent biodiesel, so this new project may help fuel more interest in B-100. “We can demonstrate that we can use 100% biodiesel in diesel engines year around,” he says. “Something like this is a great way to showcase that and demonstrate that not only to government, state users but also the general public.”
Cost at the pump is often a big selling point for consumers. Kimberley says, “The things that really help drive the market for usage and production is, we in Iowa have a retailer tax credit for petroleum marketers who blend biodiesel at 5% or 11% blends and higher.”
The snowplows are being purchased through a grant from the National Biodiesel Foundation through its 2020 National Clean Diesel Project, partnering with the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Renewable Energy Group.
There are 11 biodiesel plants in Iowa which combined, made about 365-million gallons of biodiesel in 2018. Iowa is the nation’s top biodiesel producer and the fuel supports about 4,700 jobs.