Answer to Question #29438 in Organic Chemistry for queen sarah
suggest an explanation why making and using biodiesel has a smaller percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than using petroleum-based diesel.
Biodiesel is a renewable source of energy that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the “carbon footprint” of agriculture. It contributes less to global warming because the carbon in the fuel was removed from the air by the plant feedstock. Biodiesel produces less air pollution (exhaust emissions) than diesel made from fossil fuels. A 1998 study by the USDA and US DOE found that using pure biodiesel in urban buses “results in substantial reductions in life cycle emissions of total particulate matter, carbon monoxide and sulfur oxides (32%, 35% and 8% reductions, respectively, relative to petroleum diesel’s life cycle).” Biodiesel reduces emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) by approximately 50 % and carbon dioxide by 78 % on a net lifecycle basis because the carbon in biodiesel emissions is recycled from carbon that was already in the atmosphere, rather than being new carbon from petroleum that was sequestered in the earth's crust.