SAINT PAUL, MN - Minnesota's state agencies increased their use of cleaner-burning E-85 fuel by 25 percent to 437,063 gallons during the first half of 2010, part of their effort to reduce petroleum use. The conversion tally was compiled by the SmartFleet Committee, a group created to advise and monitor the agencies' transition.

The Faribault Academies, a campus serving deaf and blind Minnesotans, and the Minnesota Office of Higher Education led the group of agencies, both using E-85 in almost 75 percent of their fill-ups, reported Finance and Commerce.

The top agency in terms of volume was the state Department of Transportation which used 170,617 gallons of E-85 in six months compared to 376,312 gallons of gasoline and 690,798 gallons of B5 biodiesel blend fuel.

Kelly Marczak, director for the American Lung Association in Minnesota's clean fuel and vehicle technologies program, said the state agencies' E-85 gains in 2010 eliminated more than 1,745 tons of lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions and harmful pollutants from entering the air.