Written on: August 18, 2022
Bioheat fuel represents a smart solution for the delivery of a better, clean-burning fuel for your home and our environment. With curiosity growing about this remarkable, renewable fuel, we’ve tried to provide answers to the most common questions people in Maine have.
Yes. Bioheat fuel burns more cleanly and more efficiently than conventional heating oil. So, you’ll be using less heat to get the same amount of warmth, and your heating system will last longer. You’ll also likely find that you need fewer repairs on your system. You may also be able to extend the time between system maintenance service. All of this amounts to savings on your household heating expenses.
Bioheat fuel is a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil with renewable biodiesel that’s made from organic and recycled products. These products can range from soybean oil, used cooking oils and inedible corn oil to canola, tallow, fats, and algae.
These renewable products are defined as feedstocks for producing biodiesel. Blends of biodiesel in heating oil are designated in percentages. For example, a 5% blend of biodiesel is defined as B5. B10 refers to a 10% blend, while B20 is a 20% blend.
Yes. Companies, including those located right here in Maine, have been using advanced technology to convert woody fiber waste from lumber and paper mills into ethyl levulinate (EL). This can then be converted into an ultra-clean home heating product that replaces petroleum, gallon-for-gallon. Emitting zero greenhouse gas emissions EL, like Bioheat fuel, can be used safely with current home heating oil systems.
This is just one example of the quest to find more eco-friendly renewable liquid fuels. The continued growth of Bioheat fuel already results in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
No. Biofuel is a broad term that can include various products including not only biodiesel, but ethanol, renewable hydrocarbon diesel, and raw vegetable oil known as RVO or LR100. It’s important to note that raw vegetable oil does not meet industry specifications; it is not biodiesel or Bioheat fuel and it is not suitable for home heating oil use.
Yes. Bioheat fuel is domestically made and helps our economy by helping meet our nation’s energy needs without incurring the cost of new land use or drilling, or paying premium prices for imported fuels.
The U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industry now supports about 65,000 U.S. jobs and more than $17 billion in economic activity each year.
Nationwide, some three billion gallons of biofuel were consumed last year, and biofuel use is expected to exceed six billion gallons by 2030. This will eliminate over 35 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions annually. Expect those numbers to get even more impressive as biodiesel takes us farther along the road to clean energy.
No. Most major heating system manufacturers accept Bioheat fuel as covered under their warranties for use, and you won’t need to make any changes to your furnace, boiler, or oil storage tank to use it. Performance standards for Bioheat fuel have been approved by ASTM International, an organization that sets industry standards for fuels and lubricants.
Learn more about Bioheat fuel and the future of heating oil in Maine.