Iowa’s trucking industry is asking lawmakers to establish standards for biodiesel to avoid some of the quality problems seen in other states. Scott Weiser, president of the Iowa Motor Truck Association, says there were problems with the glycerin levels in biodiesel when it was first sold in Minnesota. “Minnesota, they did not have a manufacturing standard. They did not have a product standard,” Weiser says. “There were no penalties for a substandard product being entered into the market.”

Republicans like Senator David Johnson of are introducing a bill that would set standards for biodiesel fuel sold in Iowa. Johnson says if “substandard” biodiesel is sold, it would have a devastating impact on Iowa’s trucking and farming industries and the bill includes tough penalties for violating the biodiesel quality standards.

Weiser — from the Motor Truck Association — says Iowa truckers intend to test biodiesel this summer. Weiser says the next big hurdle for biodiesel is to become the fuel of choice for “over-the-road” trucking fleets. That would be truckers that go on long-haul trips — and do not fill their tanks at a company-owned fuel facility but buy it from retail outlets along the highways. He says tests will be run this summer to get biodiesel approved for use in semi-truck engines, and Iowa trucking firms are volunteering to be part of that testing.