Clean Burning Fuel Law and Legal Definition

Clean burning fuel is a type of alternative fuel that is less harmful to the environment than traditional fuel. Cars using clean burning fuel may qualify for a tax deduction. Definitions of clean burning fuel vary by jurisdiction.

The following is an example of a state law defining clean burning fuel:

"Clean burning fuel" means:

(a) An emulsion of water-phased hydrocarbon fuel that contains not less than twenty per cent water by volume and that complies with any of the following:

  1. Is used in an engine that is certified to meet at a minimum the United States environmental protection agency low emission vehicle standard pursuant to 40 Code of Federal Regulations section 88.104-94 or 88.105-94.
  2. Is used in an engine that is certified by the engine modifier to meet the addendum to memorandum 1-A of the United States environmental protection agency as printed in the federal register, volume 62, number 207, October 27, 1997, pages 55635 through 55637.
  3. Is used in an engine that is the subject of a waiver for that specific engine application from the United States environmental protection agency's memorandum 1-A addendum requirements and that waiver is documented to the reasonable satisfaction of the director of the department of environmental quality.

(b) A diesel fuel substitute that is produced from nonpetroleum renewable resources if the qualifying volume of the nonpetroleum renewable resources meets the standards for California diesel fuel as adopted by the California air resources board pursuant to 13 California code of regulations sections 2281 and 2282 in effect on January 1, 2000, the diesel fuel substitute meets the registration requirement for fuels and additives established by the United States environmental protection agency pursuant to section 211 of the clean air act as defined in section 49-401.01 and the use of the diesel fuel substitute complies with the requirements listed in 10 Code of Federal Regulations part 490, as printed in the federal register, volume 64, number 96, May 19, 1999.

(c) A diesel fuel that complies with all of the following:

  1. Contains a maximum of fifteen parts per million by weight of sulfur.
  2. Meets ASTM D975.
  3. Meets the registration requirements for fuels and additives established by the United States environmental protection agency pursuant to section 211 of the clean air act as defined in section 49-401.01.
  4. Is used in an engine that is equipped or has been retrofitted with a device that has been certified by the California air resources board diesel emission control strategy verification procedure, the United States environmental protection agency voluntary diesel retrofit program or the United States environmental protection agency verification protocol for retrofit catalyst, particulate filter and engine modification control technologies for highway and nonroad use diesel engines.

(d) A blend of unleaded gasoline that contains at minimum eighty-five per cent ethanol by volume or eighty-five per cent methanol by volume.

(e) Neat methanol.

(f) Neat ethanol.

The U.S. federal tax code defines "clean-fuel" vehicles as motor vehicles designed to be fueled by one of the following:

  • Natural gas
  • Liquified natural gas (LNG)
  • Liquified petroleum gas (LPG)
  • Hydrogen
  • Electricity (e.g., some gasoline/electric hybrids)
  • Any other fuel that is at least 85% alcohol or ether (e.g., E85)