Petroleum, not Biodiesel, Confirmed as Problem with Bioheat

John Davis

As I reported to you back on March 17th, it looks like a bad batch of petroleum, not the biodiesel, was the real culprit with some recent problems with bioheat (a mix of biodiesel and home heating oil) in the Northeastern United States.

This blog post from Biodiesel Magazine says testing has confirmed the petroleum’s role:

Paul Nazzaro, petroleum liaison to the National Biodiesel Board, shared with Biodiesel Magazine an excerpt from a detailed report prepared by members of the Bioheat Technical Steering Committee as it pertains to the New Hampshire fuel quality concerns expressed by regional fuel dealers. He said a more comprehensive report will be provided to industry leaders within the week.

“At a recent meeting of fuel dealers in New Hampshire, requests for fuel samples and burner nozzles or combustion parts with carbonaceous deposits were made, and several of these were obtained and sent to independent labs for analysis,” the excerpt stated. “The data generated indicate poor quality base heating oil is the likely root cause of the burner issues in New Hampshire, and that the presence of biodiesel as Bioheat was not likely a contributing factor to the problems. Base fuel instability is the likely cause. Fuel sampled from a delivery truck clearly indicates this. Equipment problems are ruled out. Problems occurred with all domestic burners and with all appliance types. Biodiesel is ruled out. There were no indicators of off-spec biodiesel, and problems occurred regardless of fossil-renewable carbon content.”

Nice to see that biodiesel was cleared. Now lets see if the retractions accusing the green fuel of the wrongdoing come as quickly as the charges against it.

Biodiesel, NBB