The Coordinating Research Council (CRC) has released a consensus report supporting the use of biodiesel as a low-carbon fuel. Key conclusions from this report show that carbon emissions from biofuels are declining relative to petroleum, and the CRC asserts that confidence in these results is growing with additional study.
Last year, biodiesel use in the U.S. cut greenhouse gas emissions by 18 million tons, or the equivalent carbon dioxide emissions of 3.8 million cars.
“When it comes to quantifying carbon benefits, biofuels have been the most heavily scrutinized products in the world market,” says Don Scott, director of sustainability with the National Biodiesel Board. “This heavy scrutiny and improving analysis provide confidence that biodiesel provides significant benefits over fossil fuels.”
The CRC, whose members include the American Petroleum Institute, Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Daimler, and others, directs engineering and environmental studies pertaining to automotive and petroleum use. Since 2009, the CRC has been organizing biennial workshops to examine lifecycle analysis of biofuels.
To investigate this theory, the CRC has enrolled experts from across the globe in economic modeling and lifecycle analysis, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the California Air Resources Board. Per this report, each of these institutions has affirmed that U.S. biodiesel reduces greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 50% and, often, by as much as 85% compared to petroleum diesel fuel.