Gas vs Diesel: Which is Cleaner? Better?

Gas vs Diesel: Which is Cleaner? Better?

Posted in the Autos Forum

Gm man

Washington, MI

#1 Apr 11, 2011
I was chatting with someone today insisting that diesel vehicles are cleaner than gasoline powered cars. Can anyone clear this up? Here is my opinion why I believe gasoline is cleaner:

1. With a catalytic converter, gasoline cars emit only CO, H20, and CO2. Diesels, on the other hand, have all those, plus their own share of sulfides, nitrogen oxides, and soot.

2. The US Emission regulation is 0.07 grams C02 per mile. About 5% of our cars are diesels. In Europe, roughly 50% of their cars are diesel powered, and their regulation is about 28g C02 per US mile (with a proper US mile translation).

3. Although not as factual, I have never seen a gasoline engine pour black smoke (unless it is broken). Likewise, at high RPMs, diesel engines POUR out black smoke. Just a thought.

On the other side of things, diesel engines are typically 10-20% more efficient than a gasoline engine of the same size, can stand greater boost pressure, last longer, and are VERY efficient under load compared to gas.

Any non-biased input would be appreciated.

United States

#2 Jan 12, 2012
If your saying diesel don't have catalytic converters your wrong and gas bgine can do it if their getting to much gas in combustion chamber

Gouldsboro, PA

#3 Mar 10, 2012
sulfur is a contaminant in brent crude. it costs a lot to extract it from the finished product(diesel). Highway diesels produced after 2007 must use "Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel" and this will reduce sulfur pollution by 90%*footnote*(and presumably contribute to fuel cost). FYI, burning sulfur is what makes acid rain.


Ashton, Canada

#4 Feb 25, 2014
Just drive behind either one,the diesel always stinks new or used.

Also the "Blue Fluid" you have to add to many to burn with the diesel fuel to get them burning cleaner is actually horse urine.Check it is!

Do you want to breathe that too.... following a diesel?

The older gas engines are the cleanest ones.
The latest 5 years and newer are not as clean as the older gas.

I just e-tested a GM 3.8 1988 and it was all 0s across all gases but one gas,that one was .01 really nothing!.NICE!

Blairsville, PA

#5 Apr 27, 2014
dave, shut up. you don't know what the hell you're talking about. the "blue fluid" you have mentioned is not blue and not urine. it's called urea and it's basically pushed into an SCR the reduce the harmful chemicals found in diesel exhaust. with that and the added diesel particulate filter or DPF, the exhaust of a modern over the road truck is only about 0.09 % pollutants, the rest being nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and good ol' H2O. all of which are not harmful. while older models aren't going to have the after treatment systems like the newer ones they will eventually be phased out and all trucks on the road will be "clean". and there's the black smoke, if you ever hear anyone say "black smoke don't mean it's broke" slap them in the face and tell them it means they are over fueling their vehicle and basically throwing dollar bills out their exhaust. a well maintained truck should have any smoke coming out the exhaust pipe. what the engine puts out is cleaner then whats brought it. I stand in a room with trucks running all day and i'm not dead yet. try doing that with a gas engine.

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