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Clean Fuels: Biodiesel

What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is an alternative to petroleum diesel that is produced from vegetable oils, animal fats, or waste grease. Typically, biodiesel is made from soybean oil or waste fats left over from cooking (Yes, even restaurant grease!) Pure biodiesel contains no petroleum. However, it blends easily with petroleum diesel. Biodiesel has been blended in low levels with petroleum diesel in the past to increase the lubricating qualities (lubricity) of the ultra low-sulfur diesel and at the 100% level in special applications such as underground mining or for boat engines used in sensitive waterways.

Why is Biodiesel a Clean Air Choice®?
Biodiesel is cleaner burning than petroleum diesel. In higher concentrations it can significantly reduce air toxics and other harmful emissions. It is a tool that can help lessen our exposure to these air pollutants. In a B100 blend, lifecycle carbon dioxide reductions are estimated at approximately 80%.

Okay, what about other benefits?
Although biodiesel is labeled a Clean Air Choice® it also has other benefits. It is produced domestically and can help reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports. Biodiesel is renewable and can be produced from a variety of non-petroleum feedstocks. Americans can grow more biodiesel closer to home. Please visit Biodiesel Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about Biodiesel. If you have any questions that are not answered on the website, contact your local Clean Air Choice® office.

Calculate the Advantage of Biodiesel


American Lung Association, Upper Midwest Region
490 Concordia Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55103-2441
Phone: 651-227-8014
Fax: 651-227-5459
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