The efforts of the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA), the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and the manufacturers led by R.W. Beckett met with success on June 18, 2008 in Vancouver, Canada, as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) approved a 5 percent blend of biodiesel in heating oil.
This effort has been underway for several years, as NORA and NBB identified state and national regulations that could have prevented the use of biodiesel in heating oil applications. John Huber of NORA said, “Bioheat provides a critical opportunity for the oil heat industry to reposition itself as the green renewable fuel of the future, and that knocking down regulatory barriers was essential.”
In that effort, NORA and NBB conducted a multi-layered, fact-finding process that required a thorough analysis of the fuel, how it would work in equipment and that it would provide heating oil customers with a fuel that would heat their homes throughout the winter. Paul Nazzaro of NBB said, “We are very excited about the development, and based on the research conducted over the years and its thoroughness, we know that bioheat will be as good as oil heat in every area, but also provides the oil heat industry a great path to the future.”
Vic Turk of R.W. Beckett also championed the process as chairman of ASTM’s burner fuels subcommittee. Moving through the process, he was assisted by Steve Howell of NBH. In addition to Beckett, the other leading burner manufacturers, Carlin and Riello, invested considerable time in testing their burners with this new fuel.