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#2 oil vs Bio- Fuel

Duff
Duff Member Posts: 60
I've heard both good and bad things about Bio-Fuel, good- it burns clean, bad- it's not good for the burner! Any thoughts on the subject? thanks

Comments

  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,336
    edited November 2018
    I'm not up to date on fuel oil regulations but I thought all #2 must be ULSD and a minimum 5% Bio. So the question might be moot.
    @STEVEusaPA?
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,447
    edited November 2018
    Depends on your state and when it will be mandated.
    Here's some ramblings from me on a thread from another forum:
    Despite the 'extra hour' sleep, I'm too tired to type..

    "It has less btu's, but not much. It's important to know the blend because not all your components may be rated for B20.
    The most important thing is the quality of the bio. If it's the same standards as diesel fuel, from a refinery, it'll work fine. If some oil company is buying bio stock, and blending it themselves, it's crap. Also, don't use an oil company that has their own storage (unless you're somewhere in the boonies). Oil sitting in storage is pretty much the number one cause of all the bio-fuel quality problems, along with lousy blend stock.

    It will burn cleaner but some caveats.
    -Forget about it in an outside tank, unless you are using additives. The bio portion will freeze at a temp much like water, where traditional heating oil usually doesn't completely muck up until about 5°.
    -It will clean your tank and fuel line, initially. So you'll burn cleaner, but your filters and nozzles could plug. Recommend double filtration at the tank (General, then Spin-On), and change them yearly (your tech will know by inspecting them when they change them)
    -It doesn't sit well. Don't use it if you fill your tank once a year, and it sits mostly empty throughout the summer (like a row home for example). Actually, ultra-low doesn't sit well either.

    I've been using it for about 5 years with my customers, and I clean all the heaters. The heat exchangers are much cleaner, the fuel filters, pump strainers-dirtier. Most of my customers with modern equipment, burner tuned with proper draft and true zero smoke, don't need their heat exchangers vacuumed every year.
    I just swung open my boiler, and I'm not vacuuming it (3 years). I have a vacuum gauge on the spin on filter. Not showing any vacuum on a gravity job, so I'm not changing the filters.
    Did a combustion test and draft, smoke and efficiency are virtually the same as last year. So there really isn't anything to do.
    And I tell and show my customers this.

    This is the type of thing NORA is trying to stress with their education to consumers--that heating with oil can be clean, & efficient, and easily competes with natural gas. They just don't have the money to spend that Big Gas has."


    some more...

    "I don't know the state of bio credits right now, but if you search out articles, especially in Fuel Oil News, you'll see the quality and storage are always the 2 problems."

    There is a chart that shows states what they mandate and what they have coming up for deadlines.
    steve
  • Duff
    Duff Member Posts: 60
    Thanks Steve for the info it was very helpful. I have to do a tune-up service next week and didn't know what to expect, thanks.
  • GBart
    GBart Member Posts: 746
    Most oil companies are running B5, it's really all you need even for diesel, it really cleans up the burn but you need bio fuel compatible oil filter gaskets and fuel pumps, technically, it might seep through, it's slipperier than diesel/#2, bio actually lubricates, diesel is more of a cleaner so the sulfur was what lubricated, B5 will lube your injectors etc on a diesel engine and is much superior to sulfur plus it lowers emissions.

    On a side note Rudolph Diesel invented his engine initially to run on coal dust but it exploded, he then moved to Hemp oil because he felt that since all farmers grew hemp they could use the hemp oil to run their equipment for free, big oil had other ideas and wanted him to endorse #2 which was already in use for lamps, etc instead of whale oil. History books wrongly state he made it to run on soybean oil, it wasn't a large crop back then.

    Diesel was found floating in the English channel. Big oil called #2 diesel oil and the rest is history.

  • ImYoungxD
    ImYoungxD Member Posts: 130
    I live in NY and requires all oil companies to have some % of biofuel. I had my tune up 2 months ago and they asked me if I used biofuel. I had no idea since I was ordering it from online and they didn't state anything about biofuel until I googled it that the state requires them.

    Tuneup guy said nozzle was getting slimy and suggested not to use oil with biofuel. I don't think he knows that the state requires it.
  • bwroga
    bwroga Member Posts: 26

    The most important thing is the quality of the bio. If it's the same standards as diesel fuel, from a refinery, it'll work fine. If some oil company is buying bio stock, and blending it themselves, it's crap. Also, don't use an oil company that has their own storage (unless you're somewhere in the boonies). Oil sitting in storage is pretty much the number one cause of all the bio-fuel quality problems, along with lousy blend stock.

    @STEVEusaPA I have been looking into bio fuel from Maine Standard Biofuels and was wondering what questions I could ask them to determine which category they fall in: "it'll work fine" or "it's crap".

  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,424
    bwroga said:

    The most important thing is the quality of the bio. If it's the same standards as diesel fuel, from a refinery, it'll work fine. If some oil company is buying bio stock, and blending it themselves, it's crap. Also, don't use an oil company that has their own storage (unless you're somewhere in the boonies). Oil sitting in storage is pretty much the number one cause of all the bio-fuel quality problems, along with lousy blend stock.

    @STEVEusaPA I have been looking into bio fuel from Maine Standard Biofuels and was wondering what questions I could ask them to determine which category they fall in: "it'll work fine" or "it's crap".

    All biodiesel should meet ASTM D6751 specs, ask for a COA.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    STEVEusaPAbwrogakcopp
  • BDR529
    BDR529 Member Posts: 205
    Low in B.t.u.'s and the percentages of bio is determined by greed.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,126
    If it doesn't store well a two pipe system would help keep it moving. Maybe a seperate pump to turn the tank over would be a good idea
  • BDR529
    BDR529 Member Posts: 205
    Of course it dosen't store well. It will grow fungus like a petri dish and stratification is an issue.

    The pump might work, Keep it turning and loosen all the crud in the tank then make a leak. Airate it with low PSI, make other problems
  • dh1989
    dh1989 Member Posts: 20
    edited January 14
    The New England states are slowly adding in more bio mandates. RI just mandated B20 in 2 years and B50 by 2030. I've seen the B20 rated pumps but are there even pumps and solenoids rated for B50 that work on standard Beckett/Carlin burners at this point?