New “Cleaner & Greener” Heating Oil

What’s It All About?

There are two key aspects to today’s improved heating oil. First, the sulfur component has been virtually eliminated to create a product known as Ultra Low Sulfur Heating Oil (ULSHO). Second, a bio component (biodiesel) made from renewable resources can be blended with ULSHO to create a product branded as Bioheat®.

Beginning in 2012, the sulfur component of heating oil has been reduced in stages from 3,000 ppm to the goal of 15 ppm in the summer of 2018. This change produces a quantum reduction in carbon emissions and, because it is cleaner burning, heating system reliability is improved and maintenance costs are reduced.

The renewable component in Bioheat® is manufactured from organic sources such as soybeans and food waste, and is currently blended with ULSHO at rates between 2 and 20 percent of volume. This helps in a major way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel and contributes another increment to lowering emissions.

All heating oil sold today is mandated to be ULSHO. Many oilheat dealers offer ULSHO without the renewable bio component. Bioheat® is sold as a differentiated branded product.

These new heating oil products have demonstrated benefits including improved efficiency and reduced emissions. But, while product evolution brings benefits in some areas it often creates new problems. In the case of heating oil, new issues include:

  • Reduced stability of stored fuel
  • Increased corrosive tendencies
  • Greater sensitivity to cold temperatures

Lincoln Laboratory is proud to offer products that are formulated to address each of these concerns.

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