Biodiesel Exhaust Toxicity with and without Diethylene Glycol Dimethyl Ether Fuel Additive in Primary Airway Epithelial Cells Grown at the Air-Liquid Interface

Katherine R. Landwehr, Md Nurun Nabi, Mohammad G. Rasul, Anthony Kicic, Benjamin J. Mullins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Biodiesel usage is increasing steadily worldwide as the push for renewable fuel sources increases. The increased oxygen content in biodiesel fuel is believed to cause decreased particulate matter (PM) and increased nitrous oxides within its exhaust. The addition of fuel additives to further increase the oxygen content may contribute to even further benefits in exhaust composition. The aim of this study was to assess the toxicity of 10% (v/v) diethylene glycol dimethyl ether (DGDME) added as a biodiesel fuel additive. Primary human airway epithelial cells were grown at the air-liquid interface and exposed to diluted exhaust from an engine running on either grapeseed, bran, or coconut biodiesel or the same three biodiesels with 10% (v/v) DGDME added to them; mineral diesel and air were used as controls. Exhaust properties, culture permeability, epithelial cell damage, and IL-6 and IL-8 release were measured postexposure. The fuel additive DGDME caused a decrease in PM and nitrous oxide concentrations. However, exhaust exposure with DGDME also caused decreased permeability, increased epithelial cell damage, and increased release of IL-6 and IL-8 (p < 0.05). Despite the fuel additive having beneficial effects on the exhaust properties of the biodiesel, it was found to be more toxic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14640-14648
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume56
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2022

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