Biodiesel Home Heating Oil.

When I struck out on my own many many years ago, some friends and I got the bright idea to rent this big old arts and crafts era house in the middle of what is now called an historical district.  It was called a war zone back then, but we were young and immortal and knew everything; that’s why we were getting out of parent’s houses right? Then things got cold and we started looking for the thermostat on the wall to turn on the furnace; you know like we had back home.  Someone finally figured out that that thing under that big grate in the floor was where the heat was supposed to come out and it burned oil.  I lived in that house over a year and we never did figure out how to light that thing. Oil burning furnaces aren’t really that common in the neighborhood I grew up in, but in a lot of places in the country they are the standard – so I’m told. According to an article in the Register Guard:

Heating oil “is simply off-road diesel,” according to SeQuential Biofuels, one of the major suppliers of biodiesel in both the Eugene and Portland areas. “Any heating oil furnace can use a B20 biodiesel blend without modification,” the company’s Web site says. Blends of up to 99.9 percent biodiesel and 0.1 percent petro-diesel can be used if approved by a certified home heating technician, SeQuential says.Both Oregon homeowners and drivers who use biodiesel with a rating of B20 or more for home heating or personal vehicles now qualify for tax credits of up to $200 on their state tax returns, under a bill adopted by the 2007 state Legislature.  

So Oregon home owners are starting to make the switch to biodiesel based heating oil.  The paper went on to talk to a local heating contractor:

Automatic Heat serves about 2,000 customers with oil furnaces, “and about 85 percent are using biodiesel – it’s pretty much clipping right along,” Schilling said. “We offer our customers a B20 blend of 20 percent biofuel and 80 percent low-sulfur (diesel). We don’t go higher because, like cars, some fuel systems can’t handle more than that without modifications.”Even at that level, the blend “makes a huge impact on emissions,” he said. Eventually, when heating systems that can run 99 percent biofuel become readily available, “if customers are educated about biofuel, I think they’ll want to change,” he said.Before Automatic Heat began offering biodiesel heating oil two years ago, “we polled our customers and told them we were considering it,” Schilling said. “At that time, about 70 percent of them said they wanted it, even at premium prices.”  

So if you have an oil based furnace do yourself and the environment a favor.  Look into whether or not you have a local heating oil supplier that you can get biodiesel from. 

Charles August 11, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Thats a great article. Thank you for sharing it.

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