Biodiesel is produced from bio-based oils such as vegetable oils, animal fats, and recycled restaurant grease. Biodiesel can be blended with petroleum diesel or used in its pure form (B100) with proper equipment modifications. The majority of biodiesel consumed in California is blended with conventional fuel at low levels. Many modern diesel vehicles can use biodiesel in concentrations ranging from five percent to 20 percent.

Benefits of Biodiesel

  • Available domestically, reducing petroleum imports.
  • Lower in harmful emissions than conventional diesel fuel.
  • Can be utilized in existing diesel engines without costly conversions.
  • Reduces carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 50 percent to 88 percent, depending upon the feedstock used.

Renewable Diesel

Renewable diesel is derived from vegetable oils, animal fat feedstocks, bio-syngas, and biomethane. This alternative fuel is chemically equivalent to petroleum diesel, and can be used in existing diesel infrastructure and engines without modifications. Renewable diesel is the most common diesel substitute used in California. The majority of the renewable diesel used in California is imported from overseas.

Benefits of Renewable Diesel:

  • Can be utilized in existing diesel engines without costly conversions.
  • Chemically equivalent to petroleum diesel.
  • No special handling, storage and use requirements, providing increased opportunities for adoption.
  • Lower harmful emissions than traditional diesel fuels. Carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by approximately 61 percent to 83 percent, depending upon the feedstock used.

Biofuels: Biomethane, Diesel Substitutes, Gasoline Substitutes


Fuels and Transportation Division 
Phone: 916-651-1235