RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) are working with the state of California to develop diesel formulations with higher levels of renewable biofuels.
This research supports several California legislative measures and regulations that aim to increase the use of renewable fuels and reduce greenhouse gases. These include AB 32, which requires the state to develop regulations that will reduce carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and the California Air Resources Board's (CARB's) Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).
In the first major step of this effort, researchers at CE-CERT have evaluated the potential impacts of using biodiesel in diesel sold through California. Biodiesel may provide significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions because it is produced from renewable sources, such as soybeans, that absorb carbon dioxide while growing.
Biodiesel use and production is already expanding rapidly in the United States. Over the past decade, it jumped from 2 million gallons in 2002 to 1.1 billion gallons in 2011, according to the National Biodiesel Board.
Although biodiesel provides benefits in a number of emissions components, such as hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter, one issue with biodiesel use in California is its potential to increase nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, a key contributor to smog.
The CE-CERT study found that adding biodiesel at levels of 20 percent and higher would likely increase NOx emissions, but several strategies were proposed that could potentially mitigate such increases, including blending with more advanced renewable diesel fuels or through the use of additives. Results were less conclusive for biodiesel blends near the 5 percent, which are the levels most l
|Contact: Sean Nealon|
University of California - Riverside