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Diesels fare even worse when it comes to smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions, with greater than 20 times the emissions of a comparable petrol vehicle. These estimates, however, are based on 2005 model year diesels in the US, prior to the introduction of ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSD) and tightened emissions standards that have applied in several US states since 1 January 2007. The introduction of ULSD allows for the use of newer technologies to reduce particulate and other toxic emissions substantially; the EU has had lower sulphur requirements than the US for several years.

The very pace, though, at which the biofuels segment of the global economy is growing can present uncertainties and risks for producers. In some countries, changes in emission level requirements have placed untenable strains on producers’ budgets and production systems, as they seek to comply with the new requirements, while in others, producers’ long-term revenue projections have been impacted by the introduction of government restrictions on exports of biofuels; in other cases, the granting of environmental licences has taken so long that biofuel producers have been forced to close down.

2 above). Up to now though, relatively few manufacturers have approved the use of B100 biodiesel in their diesel engines. In Europe, in addition to Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Mercedes and Peugeot Citroen have issued approvals. In each case, they have approved some of their own diesel vehicles for use with B100 – provided the biodiesel originates from rapeseed and complies with the EU standard EN14214. Brand new biodiesel-approved vehicles are not produced, apart from on a made-to-order basis.

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