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Old 11-08-2012, 12:21 AM   #1
Conan
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Default Biodiesel for home heating

Hi all,
My brother in law uses heating oil for his home furnace and is asking if biodiesel can be used. He's a chef at a resort and has access to all the waste veg. oil he'd need, but does not have the set-up for diesel conversion. I'm reading online about the difference between on and off-road #2 but can't easily find a definitive answer. Also, I don't yet know what his oil type is. I assume #2 or a blend thereof. Any thoughts? Thanks, Kyle

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Old 11-08-2012, 04:44 PM   #2
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I believe difference would be that off road diesel isn't taxed and is dyed red. Basically it's for implement use only.

You'd probably have to modify the furnace to get it to run on diesel though. I personally wouldn't do it if there is no easy conversion. It sounds like a good way to blow up your house or get CO poisoning.

Even thought home heating oil might be similar to diesel they're probably different.

You'd most likely need to convert the veggie oil to diesel. I think you'd be asking for major reliability problems trying run a furnace on waste vegetable oil. Plus you'd need to run a tank heater and run enought heating oil through the system to get all the veggie oil out of the system before shutdown. Way longer than a normal furnace on off cycle.

Diesel will also gel @ low temps. But you can anti-gel additives or a tank heater. Diesel must also be atomized to burn.

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Old 11-08-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
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I'm pretty sure the diesel fuel at the gas station and the #2 fuel oil delivered to homes is the same product.
The heating oil gets a die packet treatment to indicate that no road taxes have been collected.
On more than one occasion I've run out of fuel oil at home and used diesel from my local Mobile station.
As far as heating with bio-diesel, if I had a reliable source of raw materials and could convert it inexpensively, I wouldn't hesitate to blend it in with #2 fuel oil.
The popular ratio is 20/80 bio-diesel/fuel oil. Around here, the oil companies offer this 20/80 "Biofuel" mix as a more environmentally friendly product with no heating system mods required

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Old 11-10-2012, 01:35 PM   #4
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Thanks for the comments. With the price of fuel oil, even 20% bio would help him out. The startup cost will be the trouble though. Just throwing around ideas. I knew about the dyed difference between on/ off-road but wasn't sure on composition. I guess it'd be sensible for the offroad to be the same as on road given it's run in farm equipment and generators. Thanks again, I'll pass the word along. Kyle

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