The home heating industry continues its march toward a low carbon liquid future this week as momentum in the technical space drives ahead. Key advancements in research and development continue to bring all parts of the industry into a unified direction — increased Bioheat® use industry wide.
Leading up to this week’s 2020 Heating & Energizing America Trade Show (HEAT Show), industry leaders from all segments were abuzz on the latest activity. One such announcement came this week from R.W. Beckett Corp., one of the industry’s leading heating oil burner manufacturers, unveiling a new B20-certified-burner.
“We are extremely happy to see equipment companies stepping up to the table to support higher biodiesel blends in home heating oil after the years of research conducted to make that move possible,” said Scott Fenwick, Technical Director for the National Biodiesel Board. “Last year’s Providence Resolution has served as a catalyst and we are pleased to see all segments of the industry continuing to pull toward those extremely important carbon reduction goals.”
During the 2019 HEAT Show, the heating oil industry launched an initiative, dubbed ‘The Providence Resolution’, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from heating oil 15 percent by 2023, 40 percent by 2030, and become net-zero by 2050. These emissions reduction goals approximately equate to biodiesel blends of B20 by 2023, B50 by 2030, and B100 industry-wide by 2050. These goals will put low carbon liquid home heating fuels ahead of costly, wholesale system changes being discussed to reduce emissions in the sector, with the added benefit of making immediate emissions reductions available.
“Given the compounding impacts of the effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over time, doing B20 today and moving to B50 and net zero carbon B100 in the future provides significantly more GHG reductions than waiting for future wind and solar—without the capital costs of heat pumps, solar panels, wind turbines and updating the electrical grid,” said Fenwick. “An all of the above strategy is important, but the nearly 5.5 billion homes in the Northeast who currently use heating oil systems can make a significant impact with biodiesel, almost immediately.”
The biodiesel and heating oil industries, through a cooperative effort led by NBB and The National Oilheat Research Alliance initiated in 2008, conducted the lab scale, bench scale, and field testing needed to secure industry consensus ASTM fuel quality standards for blends up to B20 in 2015.
“NBB and NORA have since been focused on the data needed to secure industry consensus ASTM quality standards for blends up to B100, as well as updated third party certification procedures for B100,” said Steve Howell of M4 Consulting who Chairs the ASTM Biodiesel Task Force at ASTM International. “These continuing R&D efforts were instrumental in providing a foundation for the Providence Resolution, which in turn helped provide the impetus to the equipment companies to invest in their own future by supporting higher biodiesel blends.”
Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel and renewable diesel are better, cleaner fuels that are available now for use in existing diesel engines without modification. NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel and renewable diesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors.