Biodiesel: Paving The Way Of The Future
With political authorities taking steps to remedy climate change and global warming, the world is moving towards fuels that reduce carbon emissions. And the increasing popularity of fuels blended with biodiesel is helping in the transition to a greener, cleaner world.
Biodiesel is a fuel made from organic plant and animal matter. It is commonly made from animal fats, recycled oil as well as vegetable oils. Renewable and less toxic, it is an efficient and cleaner alternative to traditional fuel.
Wilcox Energy is staying ahead of the curve and producing combination fuels that drastically reduce carbon emissions. By blending biodiesel and ultra-low sulfur heating oil (ULSHO), we are able to provide a fuel that is not only friendly to the environment but also to the heating systems in your home.
We currently deliver Bioheat®, which is 20% renewable, and plan to increase this to at least 50% in the near future. This is all part of our commitment to the Providence Resolution. Although innovation takes time, we are dedicated to achieving and providing liquid fuel that is 100% renewable by the year 2050.
What Type Of Fuel Is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is made by processing organic and waste oil through a method called transesterification. When oil is sourced from plants, animals, and waste, it is joined or mixed with alcohol. The resulting reaction of fats and alcohol creates glycerol and esters.1
Oils (or triglycerides) contain different types of fatty acids. Depending on the type of alcohol and catalyst used in the production process, the nature of the biodiesel produced will vary. While some manufacturers prefer base-catalyzed transesterification, others convert oil to fatty acids first and later into biodiesel. Direct acid transesterification is also common.
Once esters and glycerol form, the process begins to separate them. When transesterification is successful, it produces a product with lower viscosity (thickness), lower boiling point, pour point, flash point, and an absence of glycerides.
Can Biodiesel Be Mixed with Other Fuels?
Biodiesel’s versatility is one of its biggest advantages. It blends well with a range of additives and other petroleum products. Homeowners can easily use Bioheat® heating oil for heating purposes without ever needing to modify furnaces and other oil-burning systems.
What are the Advantages of Using Biodiesel?
Whether it is for business or home use, making the transition from the use of traditional fuel to biodiesel has many benefits.
Biodiesel is Versatile
As mentioned before, biodiesel is compatible with a wide range of products. It can be blended with regular diesel, unsaturated oils, vegetable oils, waste grease, and many other oils.
When used together with Bioheat® heating oil, it can improve the efficiency and cleanliness of home heating systems. Bioheat® heating oil is a safe, combination oil of biodiesel and ULSHO. The brand is formulated to be compatible with existing oil-fired systems.
This means you can reap the benefits of biodiesel without making changes or adjusting the settings of your heaters. Use the heating oil freely for your furnaces and boilers. If you would like to use Bioheat® heating oil for purposes not mentioned, please call Wilcox Energy.
Biodiesel is Efficient
Modern fuels are considered efficient if they can deliver the same or better performance, and if they can do so while reducing carbon emissions. Biodiesel can do both. Biodiesel blends like Bioheat® heating oil can improve the efficiency of heating systems with less impact on the environment.
Blends like Bioheat® fuel have less of a carbon footprint. This means owners of traditional heaters can do their part for the environment now without waiting years for new innovations and advancements in fuel to become available.
Biodiesel blends also reduce the amount of cleaning traditional heaters usually require. However, homeowners are still advised to perform annual HVAC check-ups and tune-ups to ensure systems are well-maintained.
Biodiesel is Safe
Biodiesel and its blends are significantly less hazardous than regular fuel. There is little to no likelihood of fire because biodiesel is classified as a non-combustible product. You can enjoy efficient heating with no concern for safety.
Biodiesel Boosts and Supports Local Business
The ingredients required to make biodiesel are usually sourced from local areas. This is unlike fossil fuels that require products to be imported from foreign countries into the U.S.
As biodiesel production increases locally, farmers and businesses can therefore provide the materials needed. Inevitably, this results in more jobs created for residents, which boosts the local economy.
Businesses and communities stand to gain more from the increased use of biodiesel. Many local governments are offering tax credits, tax rebates, assistance to those in need, and other benefits. These perks are reserved for residents who are willing to make a full transition to using biodiesel for heating. Contact Wilcox Energy to schedule a Bioheat® heating oil delivery today!
Commitment to the Providence Resolution
The Providence Resolution was a monumental step taken by stakeholders — those of whom include the Northeast heating oil industry – to ensure net-zero carbon emissions are achieved by the year 2050. Net-zero simply means that whatever carbon emissions are produced will equal those being removed from the earth’s atmosphere.
This resolution was made in 2019 at the Industry Summit held in Rhode Island. Approved in Providence, during the Heat and Energizing America Trade Show, participating industries agreed to a gradual and deliberate decrease of carbon emissions.
The Providence Resolution is sectioned into milestones to be achieved by 2050. The deadline for the first milestone is 2023, which is when the heating oil industry is expected to have reduced emissions by 15%. The second deadline is 2030, with an expected 40% decrease. By 2050, the goal of net-zero carbon emissions should be achieved.
A development of this magnitude requires major changes in how the industry operates. It also requires innovative solutions to cut down on carbon emissions. Regardless of the mammoth task ahead, industry associations are dedicated to meeting the set goals in time.
The fact that 300 industry associations were willing to participate and unanimously pass the resolution is very promising. It shows the commitment of businesses to doing their part to save and clean the environment. It is also evident that the industry is ready to fully embrace green practices through its services and products.
Wilcox Energy Is Ahead Of The Curve
Furthermore, it is important to acknowledge that many businesses, like Wilcox Energy, have already begun to provide greener heating oil blends before the Providence Resolution was passed. Biodiesel and environmentally-friendly fuels and products were being distributed and delivered to homes and businesses before the convention in 2019.
Therefore, the Providence Resolution was not the start but rather the strengthening of principles and practices that were already gaining traction in the industry. Climate change had always been an issue of concern for heating oil companies and one that has officially been designated the urgency it deserves.
How important the participation of the Northeast heating oil industry in the Providence Resolution is, cannot be emphasized enough. This is because the Northeast supplies heating oil to 5 million businesses and homes, which takes up about 80% of the market. Therefore, any post-convention changes made will have a significant impact.
Converting to Electric vs. Biodiesel Heating Systems
In an attempt to lower levels of carbon emissions, the government and other authorities often encourage residents to switch to electric heating systems. Although this sounds like a probable solution, it presents many setbacks for homeowners who already own traditional units.
The costs of converting from a traditional oil heating system to an electric one can be steep. On average, the cost of installing a new electric heater falls in the range of $10,500 to $21, 250 depending on the state you live in.2
This is the estimated cost of installations for the average home. Costs may increase if homeowners need to upgrade their electrical infrastructure. For many, the high cost will put a strain on the budget and may not be worth the trouble.
Increased Power Use Pressures Grid
More conversions to electric systems will ultimately lead to a higher demand for power, which will put the grid under severe pressure. Electric heat pumps can overwhelm the supply and force utility companies to spend billions more in building new infrastructure to meet the rising demand.
Pressure on Grid Causes Blackouts
If demand for power skyrockets, which is likely if homeowners convert to electric heaters, it may lead to rolling blackouts. These types of power outages can be devastating, as the 2021 blackout in Texas has proven.
In addition to no heat causing major inconvenience, the rolling blackouts in Texas resulted in the loss of 111 lives, some deaths believed to be related to the winter storm.3 This can be a recurring nightmare for residents, not just in Texas but CT, and should be avoided.
Fortunately, biodiesel blends like Bioheat® can prevent such events by allowing homeowners to continue using their traditional oil heating systems at no extra cost or inconvenience. Furthermore, it produces far fewer carbon emissions than using gas or electricity.4
Why Should You Choose Wilcox Energy’s Bioheat® Heating Oil?
Bioheat® heating oil packs all the benefits of a premium heating oil in one. It can be used with traditional heating systems without any adjustments, cutting the costs of modifications and converting to other heat sources.
As a biodiesel and ULSHO (ultra-low sulfur heating oil) blend, your heater runs more efficiently and cleaner while preserving its condition.
Bioheat® heating oil uses 100% biodiesel to create a blend with lower carbon emissions, making it a safer option to use in the home and a safer choice for the environment.
Call Wilcox Energy today to learn more about Bioheat® fuel and join us in reducing carbon emissions today!
For more information about our Bioheat® heating oil deliveries or our HVAC services, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. You can click here to contact us, or you can call us at (860) 399-6218 to find out more. We offer a full line of home comfort services, all customizable to meet your needs. Call now!
1. Wikipedia: Biodiesel ↩
2. Comparative Energy Use of Residential Gas Furnaces and Electric Heat Pumps
3. Texas Tribune: At Least 111 People Died In Texas During Winter Storm, Most From Hypothermia
4. Project Carbon Freedom ↩