U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Frequently Asked Questions
How much carbon dioxide is produced by burning gasoline and diesel fuel?
About 19.64 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) are produced from burning a gallon of gasoline that does not contain ethanol. About 22.38 pounds of CO2 are produced by burning a gallon of diesel fuel.
EIA estimates1 that U.S. gasoline and diesel fuel consumption for transportation in 2013 resulted in the emission of about 1,095 and 427 million metric tons of CO2 respectively, for a total of 1,522 million metric tons of CO2. This total was equivalent to 83% of total CO2 emissions by the U.S. transportation sector and 28% of total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions.
Under international agreement, CO2 from the combustion of biomass or biofuels are not included in national greenhouse gas emissions inventories.2 Most of the retail gasoline now sold in the United States contains about 10% fuel ethanol (or E10) by volume. Burning a gallon of E10 produces about 17.68 pounds of CO2 that is emitted from the fossil fuel content. If the CO2 emissions from ethanol combustion are considered, then about 18.95 pounds of CO2 are produced when a gallon of E10 is combusted. About 12.72 pounds of CO2 are produced when a gallon of pure ethanol is combusted.
It is possible to buy biodiesel fuel in many states. Biodiesel fuel is sold with various amounts of biodiesel content. A commonly sold biodiesel fuel is B20, which contains 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel fuel. Burning a gallon of B20 results in the emission of about 17.90 pounds of CO2 that is emitted from the fossil fuel content. If the emissions from burning the biodiesel in B20 are included, then about 20.22 pounds of CO2 are produced. About 20.13 pounds of CO2 are produced from burning a gallon of B100 (100% biodiesel).
1 As of April 25, 2014.
Last updated: May 21, 2014
Other FAQs about Gasoline
- Can I tell where the gasoline at my local station comes from?
- Does EIA have gasoline prices by city, county, or zip code?
- Does EIA have historical gasoline prices for each state?
- Does EIA have projections for energy production, consumption, and prices for individual states?
- Does EIA publish inflation-adjusted gasoline prices?
- Does the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) have energy consumption and price data for cities, counties, or by zip code?
- How many gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline are made from one barrel of oil?
- How much carbon dioxide is produced by burning gasoline and diesel fuel?
- What was the highest U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline?
- What's up (and down) with gasoline prices?
- Why are the retail pump prices for gasoline and diesel fuel in increments of 0.9 cents?
- Why don't fuel prices change as quickly as crude oil prices?
- Why is the United States exporting gasoline when prices are so high?
- How much ethanol is in gasoline and how does it affect fuel economy?
- How much gasoline does the United States consume?
- How much tax do we pay on a gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel?
- What do I pay for in a gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel?
- What is the outlook for gasoline prices for 2014 and for 2015?