Biofuel – Clean and Renewable Energy – Advantages
Endorsed by the Oilheat Manufacturers Association and the National Oilheat Research Alliance, Bioheat® has many proven benefits.
The costs of Bioheat® currently are similar to traditional heating oil, although slightly lower.
- Environmentally Friendly
Although home heating oil is clean-burning, low-sulfur fuel, biodiesel blends offer an even safer alternative fuel for heating that’s renewable, biodegradable and non-toxic.
- Aid Quality. Bioheat® offers reduced toxic gas emissions in comparison to petroleum diesel. In 2002, the EPA’s “Comprehensive Analysis of Biodiesel Impacts on Exhaust Emissions” determined that the impact of biodiesel on heavy-duty engines was as much as 50 percent reduction in carbon monoxide and almost 70 percent reduction of hydrocarbons. According to the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standards Program in 2010, biodiesel from soy oil reduced greenhouse gases by 57 percent.
- Positive Energy Balance (“Fossil Fuel Ratio”). Bioheat® has a positive energy balance of 5.54 to one, which means that every unit of fossil energy used to produce biodiesel returns 5.54 units of renewable energy.
- Reduced Nitrous Oxide. Biodiesel offers higher cetane levels for more efficient ignition.
- Renewable. Bioheat® is a renewable energy source that reduces global warming gas emissions.
- High BTU Content. Bioheat® has the highest British Thermal Unit (BTU) content for any alternative fuel, containing 11 percent oxygen by weight.
- Virtually Sulfur Free. Bioheat® contains no nitrogen or offensive odors. When one uses biodiesel, nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, sulfur and particulate matter are reduced. B20 blends reduce CO2 emissions by 15.66 percent. Pure biodiesel would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 78 percent, nitrated PAH’s by 80 percent, unburned hydrocarbons by 67 percent, carbon monoxide by 48 percent, particulate matter by 47 percent and sulfates by an impressive 100 percent.
- Healthy and Safe. Bioheat® passes the EPA’s tier 1 and 2 health effects. The biodiesel Tier 2 testing reported no significant exposure-related effects on food consumption, mortality, neuropathology, reproduction or ophthalmology.
- Suitable for Sensitive Environments. Bioheat® is non-toxic and is suitable for environments with children, seniors and pets. Bioheat® also requires a higher temperature to ignite and burn than heating oil does.
- Works With Current Equipment
Bioheat® requires no equipment modifications or retrofitting and will work with standard oil heating equipment, boilers and diesel generators. Performance and properties are the same as current heating oil. In fact, the Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) formally announced that equipment intended for Bioheat® complies with ASTM fuel standards.
- High Lubricity
Bioheat® may have lubricating properties that can extend equipment life and require less equipment maintenance. It may also reduce HC, PM and CO in existing diesel engines. Because biodiesel contains no sulfur, it can be added to ultra-low sulfur diesel to assist with lubrication.
- Reduces Dependence on Foreign Oil
Bioheat® is made domestically from recycled and renewable resources, reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Domestic production, as of 2011, created more than 31 thousand jobs for the U.S. economy, generating income of approximately 1.7 billion dollars. This translated to billions in GDP and 345 million dollars in federal tax revenues. There are currently over 200 biodiesel plants around the country producing a total of over three billion gallons of biofuel. The industry now supports more than 62 thousand jobs. Production increased from 25 million gallons in the early 2000s to 1.7 billion gallons of biofuel in 2014. This number is still a small percentage of the on-road diesel and oil heating market of 35 to 40 billion gallons, but the industry has a goal of producing 10 percent of the diesel transportation and heating by 2022.
- Increases Food
In 2010, the U.S. Biodiesel produced from soybean oil produced soybean meal for 57 billion servings of protein used in global hunger programs. As demand for soybean oil to create Bioheat® increases, the cost of purchasing soybeans declines. This means more healthy proteins for an increasing world population.
A full transition to biofuels would require large tracts of land to produce traditional food plants. For the time being, the gradual transition to biofuels will use existing arable land until non-food crops become a more significant source for biofuels.
Under the Renewable Fuel Standard 2 (RFS2), the U.S. EPA declared biodiesel an “Advanced Biofuel.” Such fuels are produced on existing land and meet the minimum threshold of an over 50 percent reduction in life cycle carbon emissions when compared to petrodiesel.
A byproduct of food production, biodiesel provides an 80 percent reduction in life cycle CO2 emissions. Increasing soybean production to meet the demand for biodiesel helps meet our energy and food needs without drilling or using new land.
With the EPA’s commitment to safe and renewable fuel alternatives, biodiesel and Bioheat® production should continue to increase. With the oilheat industry distributing roughly seven billion gallons of heating oil, replacing standard oil with B5 oil could use up to 350 million gallons of domestically-produced Biodiesel. Blending seamlessly with heating oil, Bioheat® offers greater benefits for human health, performance and energy security, reducing our dependence on foreign oil as well as our carbon footprint.