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burning B20 Biodiesel in my beckett gun?

jpf321
jpf321 Member Posts: 1,566
there's an oil company here in NYC that supplies B20 biodiesel for heating fuel use! the price comes out to be about $0.10/gal cheaper after NYS tax rebates than my regularly COD priced delivery company. Not to mention the greener aspect of burning Biodeisel over straight petro ...



my question of course if should I be at all wary about dumping B20 into my heating oil tank? and will I need to re-tune the burner with the new fuel? in the future, is there any drawback/worry about burning B100 in my heating system which is about same price as current #2 oil delivery but much more environmentally friendly.



with biodiesel do I need to worry about chimney condition/liner? stack temps? etc?



thanks...
1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics

Comments

  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,186
    I have yet to have this confirmed

    but I was told bio fuel will break up the sludge in older sisytems and actually clean out the tanks, the draw back is that in some old systems the sludge is what is holding the tank together, as it were. Mass is going forward with requiring a bio blend for all heating oil. Time will tell if it is good or bad but it will be a learning experience for us all.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,665
    Way back when...

    automobiles were run with non-detergent motor oil because that was all there was. Later on, detergent motor oil came out and I very much doubt you can even get non-detergent motor oil anymore. Perhaps the same distinction can be made between #2 and B20.



    With cars, it you intended to put detergent oil in a motor that had run on non-detergent, you had to replace the oil filter very very soon because the new oil loosened up the sludge and it clogged the filter. If the oil filter casing had a relief valve so you got oil circulation with a clogged filter, the sludge went through the motor (harmful) or if not, the engine siezed up from lack of flow. You might well wish to take precautions about this.



    N.B.: I know none of this from first hand experience.
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,566
    i hate to believe

    i hate to believe that my tank is being held together by gunk, but I do know that it is a likely possibility. being an inground 550gal tank, i may do well to proceed with extreme caution. (at least if I switched to B100 and the tank went to dust, the EPA would probably not be quite as upset. (that does raise and interesting question, how do the EPA-type authority stomach B100 spillage? is it as big a deal as petro spillage?)



    I am still tossing around the idea of abandoning the inground and moving a new 275 tank indoors, so that may be the perfect time to start with Bxx(x) Bio. of course I'm still trying to stretch a boiler replacement into my budget for the coming season as well. I'm just running out of ink for my $1,000 bill printer.



    A neighbor of mine had their inground pulled out a few weeks back.. it was sitting on their front lawn for a few days and I had a chance to look it over, it seemed to be in pretty good shape, but I have no idea really how mine compares.



    FYI, i really enjoyed the first article posted above from Roland .. it gave some candid comments directly from those using the "new fangled" mix in the application of heating fuel. it's well worth the read.



    I am prepared to replace filters as needed for the first few hundred gals, that's a pretty low-cost and obvious need (unless I'm running on a factory-new tank).



    another question comes to mind -- a TigerLoop and Bxx(x) .. any comments? hypothesis?



    thanks for everyone's input and best guesses. the local company said they had "a few dozen" BioFuel customers. I wonder if they'll provide references so I can talk to people actually burning the stuff.
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,459
    Another problem

    is that the B20 might harm gaskets on the burner's fuel unit (pump) also on the oil filter unless they are updated. Then you'd have a leak.



    And if it does leak, or something else goes wrong, then your insurance would probably not cover it. B20 is not UL approved yet. UL approval for oil burners require they be run with UL-approved fuels, so running them with non-UL-approved fuel voids their UL approval. And most insurance companies would not cover anything not UL approved. There's a reason UL stands for Underwriters' Laboratories.



    We went thru all this with B5, which is currently the only UL-approved bio blend.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,566
    UL-derstood

    thanks STMHD. as always another unique take on a situation. I have been under the belief that B20 was ASTM certified (In re-reading it, it seems that they have simply developed a "standard" not an approval or certification) .. but I guess that doesn't hold any water with regard to UL. See link here: http://www.biodiesel.org/pdf_files/Biodiesel_Blends_Above%20_20_Final.pdf
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,459
    edited July 2010
    That's right

    ASTM develops a standard and then UL does the safety testing. This takes some time- who knows when it might be done. But until then we can't use any bio blend higher than B5 in oil-heating equipment.



    And if we know a particular unit is running any higher blend, in many places we can't legally work on it. Doing so would violate our licensing requirements.



    So stick with B5 if you want to run bio now. It has the necessary approvals. And be prepared for all the tank, gasket and sludge issues. Personally I'd never run bio in an old underground tank.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,566
    and that's why the wall is awesome!

    thanks for your seal of disapproval, it speaks volumes. i'm so glad to have found the resource of "The Wall" ..



    i'll hurry up and wait for BOTH a new indoor tank and a B20 UL approval...and to see what ends up happening in Mass (& CT) .. and I heard rumors about NYC requiring a certain amount of Biofuel be blended in. Apparently there was a big OilCo conference in early May at Yankee Stadium .. http://is.gd/drep4 .. (incidentally it does mention in that article that a biofuel spill would be a mere annoyance vs. a crude spill)



    In this article http://is.gd/dreI5 about the same conference, it states that Mass & Ct. have both mandated Biofuel for heating beginning in 2011. Does that mean Jan 1, 2011 or more likely July 1, 2011.



    From CT.gov .. this page has mucho info on Biofuel and links to several Brookhaven papers with regard to using it as a heating fuel. http://is.gd/drfgz



    HOLD THE PHONE .. .MASS HAS SUSPENDED MANDATE AS OF LAST WEEK July 7, 2010: http://is.gd/drf65



    And CT Mandate Law of B2 for next Summer is contingent on Mass, NY, and RI passing the same -- http://domesticfuel.com/2010/06/14/connecticut-gov-signs-biodiesel-heating-oil-mandate/



    I guess we are all stuck back at petro-poison for the moment since Mass says suspended "indefinitely".



    There's also this from 2008 saying that they found Biofuel to produce 50-70% MORE greenhouse gases than petroleum: http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2008/02/06/nobel-winner-says-biodiesel-production-pollutes-more-than-fossil-fuel/



    Thanks one and all for the banter. Maybe I'll just wait for a new indoor tank and run B5 when I get the tank in. I'll follow-up as things develop.
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
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