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Illinois Farmer Eyes More Demand for Biodiesel

Dec 22, 2016
Illinois farmer Jeff Lynn says the states tax credit on biodiesel sales attracts truck drivers to fill up their tanks here. (Photo courtesy Illinois Soybean Association)
Illinois farmer Jeff Lynn says the state's tax credit on biodiesel sales attracts truck drivers to
fill up their tanks here. (Photo courtesy Illinois Soybean Association)
As the new president of the National Biodiesel Foundation, Lynn plans to keep pushing the renewable fuel in his home state and other key markets.
Published on: Dec 20, 2016

Illinois serves as a major state for biodiesel production and use, but without research proving its various benefits, it’s possible the fuel would’ve never seen the inside of a tank. Now, an Illinois farmer will be leading the group responsible for funding some of that research.

Jeff Lynn, a soybean and corn farmer from Cass County, became president of the National Biodiesel Foundation (NBF) in November and plans to continue pushing the biodiesel industry toward its potential.

A sister organization of the policy-oriented National Biodiesel Board (NBB), Lynn says NBF pursues grants that NBB can’t.

“One of our biggest projects right now is land-use sustainability,” he said. “That the American soybean farmer is not cutting down trees to plant more soybean acres; that we are sustainable. It’s a big thing right now.”

That project has already paid dividends in California, the biggest diesel market in the country. Today, biodiesel qualifies for the state’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, which means big potential demand in the future. 

Closer to home, Illinois is the third-largest state for biodiesel consumption and fourth-largest for production. Lynn says a state tax credit on biodiesel sales is a big reason.

“(The tax credit) brings a lot of dollars into the state,” Lynn said. “There are trucking companies that will buy fuel in Illinois because it’s cheaper for them. That’s huge.