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Impacts of Biofuels on Air Quality: Northern Portugal Case Study

Authors: Ribeiro I., Tavares A.M., Sá E., Lopes M.


The increased use of biodiesel implies variations on both greenhouse gases and air pollutant emissions. Some studies point out that the use of biodiesel blends on diesel can help in controlling air pollution and promote a reduction of CO2 emissions. Reductions on PM, SO2, VOC and CO emissions are also expected, however NOx emissions may increase, which may potentiate O3 formation. This work aims to assess the impact of the biodiesel use on air quality, through a numerical modeling study, taking the Northern region of Portugal as a case study. The emission scenarios are focused on 2008 (baseline year) and 2020 (target year of Renewable Energy Directive-RED) and on three biodiesel blends (B0, B10 and B20). In a general way the use of biodiesel by 2020 will reduce the CO2 and air pollutants emissions in the Northern Portugal, improving air quality. However it will be in a very small extension.

Keywords: air quality, biodiesel, emission scenarios, RED.

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