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. Most of the retail gasoline now sold in the U.S. contains about 10% ethanol by volume. Under international agreement, CO2 from ethanol and other biofuels are not counted at the tailpipe, so burning a gallon of gasoline with 10% ethanol produces about 17.68 pounds of CO2.
About 22.38 pounds of CO2 are produced by burning a gallon of diesel fuel. It is possible to buy biodiesel fuel in some states. Burning a gallon of “B10” (diesel fuel containing 10% biodiesel by volume) results in emission of about 20 pounds of CO2.
EIA estimates1 that U.S. gasoline and diesel fuel consumption for transportation in 2012 resulted in the emission of about 1,089 and 422 million metric tons of CO2 respectively, for a total of 1,511 million metric tons of CO2. This total was equivalent to 83% of total CO2 emissions by the U.S. transportation sector and 29% of total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions.
1 As of April 18, 2013
Last updated: April 18, 2013
Other FAQs about Diesel
- Does EIA publish off-road diesel fuel prices?
- How do I calculate diesel fuel surcharges?
- How many gallons of diesel fuel does one barrel of oil make?
- How much biodiesel is produced, imported, exported, and consumed in the United States?
- How much carbon dioxide is produced by burning gasoline and diesel fuel?
- When was the last refinery built in the United States?
- 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 has diesel fuel been more expensive than gasoline?
- What are projected diesel fuel prices for 2013 and for 2014?