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Biofuels are substitutes for liquid petroleum fuels (such as gasoline, diesel, and heating oil) and are derived from renewable organic matter such as corn, soy, switchgrass, agricultural waste, wood, and waste vegetable oil. Advanced biofuels are liquid fuels that are generally derived from non-food-based feedstocks and yield a lifecycle reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 50% compared with fossil fuels. Learn the basics of advanced biofuels through Advanced Biofuels USA.
The advanced biofuels of tomorrow depend on biochemical research, technological entrepreneurship, and feedstocks that are derived from waste products or can be grown without undue displacement of productive land.
The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has announced a suspension of the formal requirements of the Advanced Biofuels Mandate for heating oil and transportation diesel fuel and instead will establish a voluntary program.
The Clean Energy Biofuels Act was signed on July 28, 2008, to encourage the growth of an advanced biofuels industry, as part of the growing clean energy technology sector in Massachusetts. In nation-leading provisions, this law gives preferential tax treatment to non-corn-based alternatives to ethanol, requires biofuel content in all the diesel and home-heating fuel sold in the state, and proposes a new fuel standard for the region that will encourage a range of emissions-reducing technologies for cars and trucks.
Massachusetts has set the stage for making the transition from fossil fuels to biofuels in diesel and No.2 oil-fired applications, which includes biodiesel and ethanol E85, under Bulletin 13,
Establishment of Minimum Requirements for Bio-Fuel Usage in State Vehicles and Buildings by Executive Agencies.
Bulletin 13, issued in 2006, directs all agencies of the Commonwealth to do the following:
To support this transition, the Department of Energy Resources, in conjunction with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Operational Services Division (OSD), developed a Biofuels Infrastructure Plan. All Massachusetts agencies that operate diesel engines, on road, off road, and marine are expected to comply; however, they can request waivers if biodiesel is logistically unworkable for specific situations. Agencies with onsite diesel fueling tanks and dispensing systems can purchase biodiesel at a minimum of the 5% blend at the first filling of the tanks.
OSD has a statewide biodiesel contract, ENE23, which is open to all eligible public entities, including cities and towns in the Commonwealth, to facilitate the purchase of these fuels.