Gaining an Edge with Bioheat® Blended Fuel

Hart Home Comfort has evolved many times over its history. One of its more recent changes is blending heating oil with biodiesel to take advantage of the economic and environmental benefits. 

The Biodiesel Difference

Hart Home Comfort has come a long way from operating a fledgling company in the back of a gas station. Through a blend of patience and industry expertise, Ray Hart Sr. has evolved his business into a leading heating oil company in the country’s largest metropolis — New York City.

Hart was introduced to the heating oil business through part-time COD deliveries. Purchasing a terminal on Long Island then provided an avenue for him into the transportation market.

In 2006, an employee recommended that Hart Home Comfort explore biodiesel. Capitalizing on his existing infrastructure, Hart moved ahead and has never looked back. For heating oil customers, the company began by offering Bioheat® blended fuel, which is a blend of heating oil and biodiesel. Hart Home Comfort started with a B2 blend before quickly moving up to B20. 

“When we started, we were attracted by biodiesel being an American-made fuel. We also felt we had a responsibility to future generations to be proactive in delivering a cleaner fuel for the environment,” Hart says. “Now, Bioheat® also gives us an economic advantage.” 

It also gives their customers an economic advantage in the form of a New York state tax credit. That credit returns to the customer 1 cent for every 1 percent of biodiesel per gallon blended into traditional heating oil. 

“Claiming the tax credit is a very easy process for our customers, and it gives them another reason to embrace Bioheat® blended fuel in addition to the environmental and performance benefits,” Hart says.

Hart Home Comfort only offers Bioheat® blended fuel. From April 2017 to April 2018, the company sold over 8 million gallons, with more than 2 million gallons of that being biodiesel. Its New Hyde Park terminal thru-puts approximately 13 million to 15 million gallons of heating oil annually and another 4 million to 5 million gallons of biodiesel.

“We want to market a good, reliable Bioheat® blended fuel product,” Hart says. “With the introduction of low-sulfur heating oil and the near-zero sulfur content of biodiesel, it gives us a really good marketing edge.”   

The Bottom Line

Economics

Bioheat® blended fuel gives the company a financial advantage

Business

Improved customer satisfaction thanks to:

  • The state tax credit, which puts money back in customers' pockets
  • Offering a cleaner burning fuel

Why a 34-Year Veteran Mechanic Believes in Biodiesel

Diesel equipment technology instructor Scott Balding schools his students on the benefits of biodiesel.

An important component of diesel education.

As the diesel equipment technology instructor at Wabash Valley College in Mount Carmel, Illinois, Scott Balding’s main responsibility is to educate and train students about diesel technology and fuels. With 34 years of experience in the field, he is focused on preparing the next generation of diesel engine mechanics.

As little as 2% biodiesel can provide 66% more lubricity.

With the numerous moving internal parts of an engine working at a high temperature, lubricity is important for maintaining functionality. From the fuel pump to the fuel injector, biodiesel can be used to help lubricate the engine components. According to Balding, as little as 2 percent biodiesel can provide 66 percent more lubricity when added to petroleum diesel fuel. However, perhaps the most important component, which combines performance and emission advantages, is the low sulfur content.

“In the last few years, the fuel industry has reduced the amount of sulfur from 500 down to 15 parts per million in petroleum diesel fuel. But sulfur has lubricating properties, so when you remove it from diesel, you lose lubrication. When you add biodiesel, even at just 1 or 2 percent, you bring back that lubricity, but not the sulfur,” Balding says.

Biodiesel removes buildup thanks to cleaning properties. 

There are myths in the industry suggesting that using biodiesel leads to filter plugging. According to Balding, that myth has some truth, but it must be taken in context. In 30 plus years working on diesel engines, Balding sees one recurring issue when it comes to diesel fuel — cleanliness.

“Diesel is a dirty fuel, and after years of use buildup will occur in storage tanks and the engine fuel system,” says Balding.

“Biodiesel has solvent properties and will remove this buildup. Farmers need to realize that their fuel storage and equipment tanks must be clean, and they need to change filters on a regular basis. Once the transition to biodiesel blended fuel is complete, then your system is clean and you can return to a regular maintenance schedule as recommended by your engine manufacturer.”

Balding is a biodiesel proponent and is hopeful that when his students graduate they will have a solid understanding of the many benefits of biodiesel.

“It’s time to ignore the myths and embrace biodiesel for what it is — a good fuel that is good for our environment and economy.”

"Our students learn about the biodiesel production process firsthand, and we burn various blends of biodiesel in our engines, looking at the characteristics of horsepower and torque, and how the engine is responding to the fuel."Scott Balding, Diesel Equipment Technology Instructor, Wabash Valley College

Yellow Arrow
LIKE WHAT YOU READ?

REG delivers insightful content like this to your inbox in our e-newsletters. Sign up today.