Report Details Use of Biodiesel in Heating Oil

John Davis

noraA new report details how biodiesel could play a significant role in heating oil in the U.S. The congressionally mandated report, titled, “Developing a Renewable Biofuel Option for the Home Heating Sector” from the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) says ultra-low sulfur heating oil (ULSHO) has been one of the biggest transitions in heating oil, and biodiesel blends at 20 percent (B-20) with ULSHO are lower in Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) than natural gas when evaluated over 100 years, while blends of 2 percent (B-2) or more are lower in GHG than natural gas when evaluated over twenty years.

Other key findings in the report include:

– Biodiesel blended at 5 percent would require approximately 300 million gallons of biodiesel produced per year. Assuming the biodiesel industry average of 50 million gallons per year per plant. Bioheat® would be responsible for 6 plants built and continuously operated. Thus, nearly 270 full time jobs can be directly attributed to Bioheat®.
– Studies on the operation of Bioheat® on the basic burner operation with biodiesel blends at B-20 (at least) is the same as with unblended heating oil.
– NORA (the Alliance) and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) have communicated the value of using biodiesel and selling Bioheat®. The Alliance features information about Bioheat® on its consumer website, The NBB has a webpage, that describes the advantages of Bioheat®. Further, the Alliance and its affiliated state associations have worked to provide education on this product to consumers and retail oil companies through the use of mass media and informational brochures.
– State and local governments have utilized a number of strategies to encourage the use of biofuels in their communities. It is often necessary to encourage its use with incentives or mandates to develop the infrastructure and overall market acceptance for a new fuel.