American Chemical Society

Scientific symposium on the toxicology of alternate fuels

"Biofuel" has become a global buzzword, with cars and trucks powered by fuel made from corn, corncobs and stalks, switchgrass and even waste oil from cooking french fries, envisioned as a way to stretch out supplies of crude oil and cope with global warming.

A symposium being held here today at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society, considers a topic that has received less attention: What are the health and environmental effects of green gasoline, biodiesel and other alternative fuels, and how do they stack up against conventional gasoline and diesel?

The talks in the symposium, among almost 7,000 presentations on scientific and other topics at the meeting — which continues here through Thursday in the Indiana Convention Center and downtown hotels — will discuss topics that include:

• New evidence that emissions from biodiesel vehicles are less mutagenic than those from petroleum-based diesel.
• Research on the toxicity of conventional diesel and traditional diesel.
• Human health effects of biofuels.
• How engines have changed with changing fuels.