Science Inventory

Comparative toxicity and mutagenicity of biodiesel exhaust


Gilmour, Ian, D. DeMarini, U. Kodavanti, N. Fukagawa, A. Farraj, M. Hazari, AND S. Gavett. Comparative toxicity and mutagenicity of biodiesel exhaust. Presented at SOT, Phoenix, AZ, March 22 - 26, 2014.


Overall, Biodiesel did not seem to be any more toxic than peteroleum diesel and in many cases had less effect


Biodiesel (BD) is commercially made from the transesterification of plant and animal derived oils. The composition of biodiesel exhaust (BE) depends on the type of fuel, the blend ratio and the engine and operating conditions. While numerous studies have characterized the health effects associated with petroleum diesel (PD) emissions following controlled animal and human exposures, information on pure and blended BD emissions are far more limited. We developed a test program to compare the mutagenicity and toxicity of 100% (B100) or a 20% mix (B20) of soy-based BD exhaust to emissions from conventional PD (B0). Exhaust was generated by a 0.32 L Yanmar engine driving a 3.8 kW Pramac generator with a constant load of 3 kW and diluted to target concentrations of 0, 50, 150, or 500 μg/m3 as determined by TEOM. Average NO (ppm) at the 500 μg/m3 level were 15.2 (B100), 12.7 (B20) and 14.8 (B0). Rats and mice were exposed independently for 4 hours per day for up to 6 weeks depending on the experimental protocol and model system. In general, B0 had the greatest pro-inflammatory effects in normal mice while both B0 and B100 potentiated plaque formation in ApO E mice. The B0 and B100 also caused changes in heart rate variability and systemic inflammatory responses in hypertensive rats. Organic extracts of B0 were the most mutagenic while the B20 was intermediate and the B100 was low. Overall, BD did not seem to be any more toxic than PD and in many cases had less effect. This abstract does not reflect U.S. EPA policy.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 03/26/2014
Record Last Revised: 01/10/2017
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 270693