When it comes to sustainability in home and commercial heating, the combustion industry is currently researching and developing several different types of environmentally-friendly energy solutions. One factor that sets many of these energy and fuel options apart from the rest is implementation. However simple or complex (as well as how expensive or time-consuming) they might be to implement across communities and the country as a whole must be considered. The relative investment that implementation might require is based on several criteria, including equipment and infrastructure needs.
In the context of green fuels, including renewable diesel and biodiesel, the equipment needed to use them will actually present a huge opportunity for growth. In this post, we'll discuss the equipment required to burn green fuels and what it may take to implement different sustainable fuels as viable heating sources.
Equipment Needed to Heat with Green Fuels
One of the main benefits of burning green fuels for heat and energy is that both types of green fuels, including biodiesel and renewable diesel, can be utilized with existing heating equipment. However, there are a few differences between the equipment requirements for each type of green fuel.
Renewable diesel can be used with existing oil equipment and diesel engines. Because renewable diesel is produced using the same process (hydrogenation) as fossil fuel petroleum, no equipment updates are needed in order to burn renewable blends. Both home heating and commercial systems can convert to renewable diesel without any equipment changes or updates, making the transition extremely quick and cost-effective.
Biodiesel can also be used in most existing oil and diesel equipment with no or minor modifications. This equipment includes boilers, water heaters, and furnaces. However, this is currently only holds true for biodiesel blends up to B20. Biodiesel can only be used in existing oil burning systems because the majority of the blend, 80-95% in general, is traditional heating oil. Serious damage to the heating equipment may occur if an improper blend or pure B100 biodiesel were to be used without modifications and adjustments of traditional equipment.
When working with biodiesel, it's important to ensure that only the correct blend is being used with approved equipment in a manner that meets the input listing published by the equipment manufacturer. Despite its logistical and storage challenges, B20 can also be stored in existing diesel fuel tanks.
Implementing Renewable Liquid Fuel
Green fuels can largely be processed utilizing equipment that already exists and is currently installed in homes and facilities. Because of this the barrier to implementation for renewable diesel and biodiesel is set relatively low. Few modifications would need to be made in order to convert current oil heating customers into green fuel customers because their equipment is already in place. Costs during this conversion could also be kept relatively low because new equipment would largely not need to be developed or installed. In comparison with other sustainable fuel sources, these implementation requirements provide many advantages.
While other renewable energies like solar, wind, and hydro power have been presented for years as alternative energy sources that can provide many benefits to the environment, the equipment and infrastructure required to produce and distribute those energies does not currently exist on a grand scale. While switching to these sustainable sources would require a huge investment in equipment, the stage has already largely been set for the emergence of green biofuels for years. With existing equipment, we can reach the point of carbon neutrality in a much shorter time frame with green fuels than with other alternative technologies.