Comparison of Real-World Emissions of B20 Biodiesel versus Petroleum Diesel for Selected Nonroad Vehicles and Engine Tiers Academic Article uri icon


  • Field data for in-use fuel consumption and emission rates were collected for 15 nonroad vehicles by using a portable emission measurement system. Five backhoes, four front-end loaders, and six motor graders were tested once on petroleum diesel and once on B20 biodiesel. The vehicles represented a variety of engine certification tiers. A methodology was developed for study design, field data collection, data screening and quality assurance, data analysis, and benchmarking of the data. On average, 6.9% of data were lost because of quality issues and more than 3 h of valid data were collected in each test. Time-based emission factors increased monotonically with respect to engine manifold absolute pressure. Fuel-based emission factors were sensitive to differences between operations of engines idling and not idling. Typical duty cycles were quantified in terms of frequency distributions of manifold absolute pressure and used to estimate cycle average emission factors. On average, the use of B20 instead of petroleum diesel led to an insignificant 1.8% decrease in the nitric oxide (NO) emission rate and significant decreases of 18%, 26%, and 25% for opacity, hydrocarbons (HC), and carbon monoxide (CO), respectively. Emission rates decreased significantly in newer, higher-tier vehicles compared with older ones. Fuel use, NO, HC, and CO data were of similar magnitude as independent benchmark data. Specific recommendations were made for future work.

published proceedings

  • Transportation Research Record Journal of the Transportation Research Board

author list (cited authors)

  • Frey, H. C., Rasdorf, W., Kim, K., Pang, S., & Lewis, P.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Frey, H Christopher||Rasdorf, William||Kim, Kangwook||Pang, Shih-hao||Lewis, Phil

publication date

  • January 2008