Clean Fuels 101
What are clean fuels?
Biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel are domestically produced, commercially available advanced clean fuels. These cleaner-burning drop-in fuels can be used in existing engines without modification and are made from an increasingly diverse mix of renewable resources, including:
- Soybean, canola and other plant oils
- Rendered animal fats
- Used cooking oil
Why Do They Matter?
With a range of economic, environmental and market benefits, clean fuels are good for farmers, the economy, the country and the planet. They are available now and ready to use in today’s engines.
Clean fuels drive economic benefits for clean energy production, agriculture and ground, rail, marine and air transportation. These fuels are at the center of $23.2 billion in annual U.S. economic activity, supporting approximately 75,200 American jobs and counting.
Biodiesel and renewable diesel reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 70 percent on average compared to petroleum diesel, according to Argonne National Labs.
Clean fuels play an essential role in the agricultural economy and provide a critical supply of fuels to key economic sectors. The U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industry generates more than 3 billion gallons of better, cleaner fuels each year, driving down the price of traditional diesel by 4% in 2021.
Public Health Benefits
In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions for cleaner, healthier air, biodiesel and Bioheat® fuel are proven to reduce particulate emissions. Benefits identified through research include reduced asthma cases, fewer sick days, reduced cancer cases and more than $7.5 billion in avoided health costs annually.
What is Biodiesel?
What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a renewable, cleaner-burning diesel replacement that meets ASTM D6751 specification and can be used in existing diesel engines without modification.
This fuel is made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as soybean oil, used cooking oil or animal fat through a chemical process called transesterification, which separates glycerol from fat or plant oil and replaces it with methanol.
What is Renewable Diesel?
Renewable diesel is a biomass-based diesel fuel made from the same renewable feedstocks as biodiesel using a process that resembles traditional diesel fuel production. Renewable diesel is a drop-in diesel replacement that meets ASTM D975 – the same standard for petroleum diesel.
Sustainable Aviation Fuel
What is Sustainable Aviation Fuel?
Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is a drop-in jet fuel that meets ASTM D7566 specifications. SAF is made from renewable feedstocks and reduces carbon emissions for cleaner, more sustainable aviation transport.
The first commercially available gallons of SAF are being produced through a process called hydrotreatment, similar to renewable diesel production. Testing is currently underway to allow the use of 100% SAF in aviation travel.
What is Bioheat® Fuel?
Bioheat® fuel is a simple, smart solution for home heating. Bioheat® fuel is a blend of biodiesel and ultra-low sulfur heating oil, providing better fuel for your home and the environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are clean fuels?
Biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel produce lower greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis and less criteria air pollutants than petroleum fuels. Clean fuels are produced from a variety of renewable feedstocks and can be used as a drop-in fuel in various sectors, including ground transportation, rail, marine and aviation transport, as well as home heating.
What is the difference between biodiesel and renewable diesel?
Both biodiesel and renewable diesel are drop-in fuels – sustainably made from renewable fats and oils – for diesel (compression ignition) engines. Each offers performance improvements over the use of petroleum diesel, such as higher cetane values and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Biodiesel is produced through transesterification, which converts feedstocks into fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). Biodiesel meets the ASTM D6751 specification.
Renewable diesel utilizes a production process more like diesel fuel production. It meets ASTM D975 – the same standard for petroleum diesel.
Why are clean fuels important?
Clean fuels provide a wide range of economic, environmental and market benefits, making them good for farmers, the economy, the country and the planet.