Using Biodiesel for Heating
Biodiesel can be used as a replacement for standard heating oil (kerosene) in oil-fired heating boilers for both domestic and commercial applications
Biodiesel can be used in most boilers but some modifications may be required. There are some key differences between biodiesel and kerosene (standard heating oil) and with a little care and attention, the switch to biodiesel can be easily managed.
We have set out below some of the main points for you to consider.
|Biodiesel Characteristics||What we recommend|
|The combustion properties of biodiesel are somewhat different to kerosene||The existing nozzles and fuel pump may need to be replaced. Many OFTEC Member manufacturers have conversion kits available. Contact OFTEC for more information|
|Superior solvent properties of biodiesel will result in the gradual degradation of rubber components||Rubber seals, hoses, and gaskets should be replaced with biodiesel compatible materials such as Viton or Teflon|
|Biodiesel oxidizes faster when in contact with certain metals such as copper, brass, bronze, zinc, tin and lead||Lead solders, zinc linings, copper pipes and brass valves, should be replaced by stainless steel or aluminium components. These components are more likely to be found in external storage tanks and associated fuel delivery pipework|
|Biodiesel tends to gel and wax at a higher temperature than kerosene (known as the cloud point)||Storage tanks situated outdoors must be adequately insulated. Alternatively, the coldflow effects can be mitigated by altering the blend (e.g. 20% biodiesel and 80% kerosene) during very cold spells|
More information on the use of biodiesel for domestic applications can be found here.
More information on materials compatibility can be found here.
Biodiesel can be used for heating in commercial applications such as schools, hospitals, large residential blocks, process heating etc.
For large-scale applications, the equipment is designed to run on 100% biodiesel fuel, and so is manufactured using compatible materials and with specific features to keep the fuel from waxing such as insulated boiler rooms and tank heaters.
Contact us if you would like to know more about using or installing biodiesel boiler systems for your commercial application.