Biodiesel Laws and Incentives in Iowa

The list below contains summaries of all Iowa laws and incentives related to biodiesel.

State Incentives

Alternative Fuel Production Tax Credits

The High Quality Jobs Program offers state tax incentives to business projects for the production of biomass or alternative fuels. Incentives may include an investment tax credit equal to a percentage of the qualifying investment, amortized over five years; a refund of state sales, service, or use taxes paid to contractors or subcontractors during construction; an increase of the state's refundable research activities credit; and a local property tax exemption of up to 100% of the value added to the property. For more information, refer to the High Quality Jobs Program website.

Point of Contact
Business Finance Program Coordinator
Iowa Economic Development Authority
Phone: (515) 348-6161

Biodiesel Blend Retailer Tax Credit

Retailers selling biodiesel blends containing a minimum of 5% biodiesel (B5) are eligible for a state income tax credit of $0.035 per gallon of biodiesel sold. Biodiesel blends containing a minimum of 11% biodiesel (B11) are eligible for a state income tax of $0.055 per gallon sold. The tax credit expires December 31, 2024. (Reference Iowa Code 422.11P)

Point of Contact
Amy Harris
Administrator, Research and Policy Division
Iowa Department of Revenue
Phone: (515) 281-0196

Biofuel Infrastructure Grants

The Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program provides financial assistance to qualified 70%-85% ethanol (E85) or dual 15% ethanol (E15) and biodiesel retailers. Cost-share grants are available to upgrade or install new E85 or dual E15 and biodiesel infrastructure. Three-year cost-share grants are available for up to 50% of the total cost of the total project, up to $30,000. Five-year cost-share grants are available for up to 70% of the total cost of the project, up to $50,000.

Biodiesel distributors may apply for cost-share grants for infrastructure upgrades and installations at biodiesel terminal facilities. Facilities blending or dispensing blends ranging from 2% biodiesel (B2) to 98% biodiesel (B98) are eligible for up to 50% of the total project, up to $50,000. Facilities blending or dispensing B99 or B100 are eligible for up to 50% of the total project, up to $100,000.

The Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Board receives administrative support from staff within the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and has the authority to determine the eligibility of applicants. For more information, refer to the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program website.

(Reference Iowa Code 159A.13-159A.15)

Point of Contact
Paul Ovrom
Marketing and Renewable Fuels Program
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Phone: (515) 242-6239

Diesel Emission Reduction Project Funding

The Iowa Department of Transportation (IowaDOT) provides funding for medium- and heavy-duty on-road new diesel, alternative fuel vehicles, or engine repowers and replacements, as well as off-road repowers and replacements. Both government and non-government entities that own and operate diesel fleets and equipment are eligible for funding. Vehicles and equipment that qualify for replacement or repower include:

  • Model Year (MY) 2009 or older Class 4-8 school buses, shuttle buses, and transit buses;
  • MY 1992-2009 Class 4-7 local freight trucks;
  • MY 1992-2009 Class 8 drayage trucks; and
  • Freight switchers, ferries and tugs, marine vessel shore power, airport ground equipment, forklifts, and port cargo handling equipment.
This grant program is funded by Iowa's portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, including how to apply, see the IowaDOT Volkswagen Clean Air Act Partial Settlements website.

Laws and Regulations

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Demonstration Grant Authorization

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (Department) may award demonstration grants to individuals who purchase vehicles that operate on alternative fuels, including but not limited to E85, biodiesel, compressed natural gas, electricity, solar energy, or hydrogen. Individuals may use the grants to conduct research connected with the fuel or vehicle. Grant funding to purchase the vehicle is available if the Department retains the title of the vehicle, the vehicle is used for research, and the proceeds from the eventual sale of the vehicle are used for additional research. Grants are subject to funding availability. (Reference Iowa Code 214A.19)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Acquisition Requirements

At least 10% of new light-duty vehicles purchased by institutions under the control of the state fleet director, including the Iowa Department of Transportation, Board of Directors of Community Colleges, Board of Regents, Commission for the Blind, and Department of Corrections must be capable of operating on alternative fuels. Vehicles and trucks purchased and directly used for law enforcement and off-road maintenance work are exempt from this requirement. (Reference Iowa Code 8A.362, 216B.3, 260C.19A, 262.25A, 307.21 and 904.312A)

Biodiesel Fuel Use

The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) may purchase biodiesel for use in IDOT vehicles through the biodiesel fuel revolving fund created in the state treasury. The fund consists of money received from the sale of Energy Policy Act of 1992 credits IDOT has banked and other income IDOT has obtained or accepted for deposit in the fund. (Reference Iowa Code 307.20)

Biofuel Quality Program

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship must establish and administer programs to audit motor fuel facilities, including biofuel processing and production plants, to screen and test motor fuel, including renewable fuel, and to inspect motor fuel sold by dealers, including retail motor fuel dealers. Biofuels include ethanol, biobutanol, and biodiesel. Renewable fuel is defined as a combustible liquid derived from biomass or produced from a biogas source, such as biofuel and biofuel blended with gasoline. (Reference Iowa Code 214A.1 and 214A.2C)

Biofuel Specifications

Ethanol-blended gasoline must conform to ASTM D4814, E85 must conform to ASTM D4806, and biodiesel-blended fuel containing at least 6%, but no more than 20%, biodiesel must conform to ASTM D7467. Additionally, biobutanol must be an agriculturally derived isobutyl alcohol that meets ASTM D7862 for butanol for blending with gasoline for use as a motor fuel. Gasoline blended with biobutanol must conform to ASTM D4814. The state defers to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for potential changes in specifications. (Reference Iowa Code 214A.2)

Renewable Fuel Labeling Requirement

Biodiesel, biobutanol, and ethanol blend dispensers must be affixed with decals identifying the type of fuel blend. If fuel blends containing more than 10% ethanol are being dispensed, the decal must include the statement: "For Flexible Fuel Vehicles Only." The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (Department) may approve applications to place a decal in a special location on a pump with special lettering or colors that are clear and conspicuous to the consumer. (Reference Iowa Code 214A.16)

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