Switch to Biodiesel Includes Health Benefits
A new study demonstrates switching to soy biodiesel results in a number of significant health benefits, such as decreased cancer risk, fewer premature deaths and reduced asthma attacks.
The fuel research was conducted by Trinity Consultants at 13 U.S. sites exposed to high rates of petroleum diesel pollution. Trinity used well-established EPA air dispersion modeling tools coupled with health risk assessments and benefit valuations to assess the public health benefits and resulting economic savings of converting from petroleum-based diesel to 100% biodiesel, known as B100.
Researchers found that switching to 100% biodiesel in the home heating oil and transportation sectors would prevent 340 premature deaths annually, reduce or lessen 203,000 asthma attacks, reduce cancer risk by 45% when heavy-duty trucks use B100 and an 86% reduced risk when biodiesel is used for home heating oil. The combined benefits would reduce health costs by $3 billion annually.
Today, about 8 billion pounds of soybean oil are used in the production of conventional biodiesel. By 2030, it’s estimated that an additional 8 billion pounds will be needed, totaling 16 billion pounds per year, according to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).
Trinity Consultants operates 69 offices internationally and has performed air dispersion modeling for industrial facilities, utilities and government agencies.
The research was sponsored by NBB with support from the Nebraska Soybean Board, South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, California Advanced Biofuels Alliance, Iowa Soybean Board and the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board, in addition to promotional support from the soy checkoff.