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Biodiesel, Fossil Diesel and their Blends: Chemical and Toxicological Properties

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Geo-spatial type
STRIA Roadmaps
Low-emission alternative energy for transport (ALT)
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects


Background & Policy context

BIODEG is an acronym for “Influence of bio-components content in fuel on emission of diesel engines and engine oil deterioration”. The project will provide knowledge of the consequences from use of biodiesel in combination with fossil diesel in two areas; 1) emissions and 2) effect on motoroil. 

The project will last for 33 months and is financed through the EEA-financing mechanism (EEA Grants). Collaborative partners are the coordinator Oil and Gas Institute of Krakow (IniG) in Poland and Abgasprüfstelle Fachhochschule Biel (AFHB) in Switzerland.


Western Norway Research Institute has the responsibility for the first area - emissions – through lifecycle assessments of the fuels' emission of climate gases and compounds with human health effects. Biodiesel produced from biological oils from three different sources will be investigated; 1) rape seed, 2) sunflower seed and 3) fish.


Other Programme
EEA Grants /Norway Grants


There is an information gap concerning the availability of life-cycle inventory data and their associated global warming potential, concerning the specific components of SCR and DPF, including the urea aqueous solution.

  • There is only a marginal increase in global warming potential from more frequent replacement of engine oil and eventual worn parts in the oil lubrication system, when compared to the contribution from the other parts of the system.
  • Using B100 instead of B0 implies a 13-20% reduction in the life cycle emission of CO2, expressed as kg CO2 eq/kWh.

That a reduction in GWP100 is possible by moving from fossil- to biodiesel based operation is not surprising, nor is this contradictory to numerous other findings. What can be discussed is the meagre savings relative to other contemporary studies. Three reasons for this can be; the choice of system boundaries, the inclusion of N2O in this determination of GWP100, and the unique dataset for engine emissions used in this evaluation.

  • There is a general increase in the emission of greenhouse gases, as expresseed as GWP100, with the addition of the after-treatment components SCR and DPF. This is most likely related to restricting the flow of exhaust gases, or the increase of backpressure, with the addition of these components. This point is substantiated in other studies, though requires further investigation.
  • Molecular dynamics simulations provided support to the claim that blending biodiesel into fossil diesel may increase the availability of exhaust PAHs for conducting intracellular damage. A plausible mechanism of PAHs being carried into lung cells by nanoparticles formed by uncombusted FAME was suggested. However further research is needed to conclude about the effect on the ability of PAHs to penetrate cell membranes .


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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