Fact #576: June 22, 2009 Carbon Dioxide from Gasoline and Diesel Fuel

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The amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by a vehicle is primarily determined by the carbon content of the fuel. However, there is a small portion of the fuel that is not oxidized into carbon dioxide when the fuel is burned. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published information on carbon dioxide emissions from gasoline and diesel which takes the oxidation factor into account and is based on the carbon content used in EPA's fuel economy analyses. Vehicles burning diesel fuel release more carbon dioxide per gallon than vehicles burning gasoline, but they also travel more miles per gallon burned.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions from a Gallon of Fuel
Graph showing the pounds per gallon of carbon dioxide emissions from a gallon of fuel (gasoline and diesel) burned. For more detailed information, see the table below.

 

Supporting Information

Carbon Dioxide Emissions from a Gallon of Fuel
Fuel Pounds per Gallon
Gasoline 19.4
Diesel 22.2

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Emission Facts: Average Carbon Dioxide Emissions Resulting from Gasoline and Diesel Fuel," February 2009.

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