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Issue 6, 2012
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Toxicological and ecotoxicological potencies of biofuels used for the transport sector—a literature review

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Abstract

In the past few years, the development and use of biofuels for the transport sector have attracted growing attention worldwide due to their promising benefits including a reduced dependence on fossil fuels and a potential to slow down the effect of global climate change. Nevertheless, concerns have also started to emerge regarding their potentially adverse environmental impacts and possible effects on human health. In this context, literature research was carried out to obtain an overview of the current research activities on the (eco)toxicological relevance of biofuels. The literature review revealed an increase in research activities on biofuels, in general, especially within the last four years. In contrast, comparatively few research activities were focused on the (eco)toxicological effectiveness of biofuels or their emissions even though this topic will be of great relevance as soon as a biofuel becomes commercially marketed in the future. Furthermore, the results of the available studies vary widely. Several findings on acute and mechanism-specific toxicity indicate less or comparable effects induced by biofuels in comparison to fossil diesel fuels. However, indications for negative impacts that are inducible both by the biofuels themselves and their emissions were found. Based on the data available, an (eco)toxicological relevance or human health risks associated with spills or the use of biofuels currently cannot be ruled out. Therefore, additional experimental studies are necessary to provide a more comprehensive dataset for the identification of future alternative fuels with low environmental impact.

Graphical abstract: Toxicological and ecotoxicological potencies of biofuels used for the transport sector—a literature review

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Oct 2011, accepted on 16 Mar 2012 and first published on 20 Mar 2012


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE03033K
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2012,5, 7381-7392

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    Toxicological and ecotoxicological potencies of biofuels used for the transport sector—a literature review

    K. Bluhm, S. Heger, T. Seiler, A. V. Hallare, A. Schäffer and H. Hollert, Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, 5, 7381
    DOI: 10.1039/C2EE03033K

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