Clean Fuels Health Benefits Study

Proving Clean Fuels Benefits through Research

Clean Fuels Alliance America works to identify and spread the word about the benefits of biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, including cleaner air and healthier communities.

Our research and data show that clean fuels are better for the environment, smarter for consumers and healthier for communities at the local level. Clean Fuels recently commissioned a Health Benefits Study conducted by Trinity Consultants and funded by our generous partners. The results have further solidified the mounting evidence that biodiesel can and does move the needle on an issue important for all Americans — their health.

Results from the first two phases of this study found that switching to 100% biodiesel (in 28 transportation and home heating oil sectors) provided immediate community health improvements. The following annual benefits were identified:

  • More than 456,000 fewer asthma cases
  • More than 142,000 fewer sick days
  • The prevention of more than 910 premature deaths
  • More than $7.5 billion in avoided health costs
  • A 45% reduction in cancer risk when legacy heavy-duty trucks use B100 (pure biodiesel) and an 86% reduction when Bioheat® fuel is used for home heating.

Clean Fuels Health Benefits: A Look at the Data

Phases 1 and 2 of the Health Benefits Study found significant evidence demonstrating the air quality benefits of clean fuels. Most recently, Phase 2 examined the effect of biodiesel on pollution reduction in underserved Environmental Justice communities.

The study, conducted in 15 communities across the country with high-risk air quality, found that B100 (pure biodiesel) could reduce pollution in legacy heavy-duty transportation and residential heating – two of the most difficult applications to decarbonize. Benefits included:

  • Reduced cancer risk
  • Reduced asthma cases
  • Fewer premature deaths
  • Fewer sick days

The study used standard EPA air dispersion modeling tools, along with well-established health risk assessments and benefit valuations, to calculate the public health benefits and resulting economic savings of switching from diesel fuel to 100% biodiesel (B100) in transportation and heating uses. Communities studied included Phoenix; Las Vegas; Houston; Detroit; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Chicago; St. Louis; Indianapolis; Cleveland/Akron/Canton, Ohio; Boston; Buffalo, New York; Port of Elizabeth, New York/New Jersey; Charlotte, North Carolina; Philadelphia and the District of Columbia, most of which are named among the American Lung Association’s “most polluted cities.”

In Washington, D.C., alone, replacing diesel fuel with biodiesel could produce health benefits valued at $262 million annually.

Sponsored by Clean Fuels, this study was conducted by Trinity Consultants and supported by the Nebraska Soybean Board, South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, California Advanced Biofuels Alliance, Iowa Soybean Association, Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board, Illinois Soybean Association, Ohio Soybean Council, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Pennsylvania Soybean Board, New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association, Eastern Region Soybean Board and New Jersey Soybean Board.

Health Benefits Study Resources