Are You Missing Out on Some of Biodiesel's Benefits?
Some heating oil companies may be missing out on important benefits of using biodiesel by specifying soy-only biodiesel.
Sure, using soybean oil feedstock is one method to produce biodiesel, but it is not the only. Quality Bioheat® Blended Fuel can be produced by a variety of feedstocks with several benefits over soy-only biodiesel.
Feedstock flexibility is the ability to use different feedstocks to create high-quality biodiesel that meets customer specifications. It’s something only skilled biodiesel producers can do, and it has some substantial benefits:
1. It allows for more predictable pricing and availability. Feedstock flexibility frees a producer from some of the instability of commodity markets. When prices increase or there are supply issues with certain feedstocks, a multi-feedstock refinery can switch to an alternative and still produce a great end product. This, of course, is good for the producer’s customers, too.
2. It captures the best properties of different feedstocks. High-tech producers can combine the fatty acids from various feedstocks, like ingredients in a recipe, to create a fuel with the properties their customers want.
3. It can allow for a more environmentally friendly fuel. Using inedible feedstocks instead of vegetable oils can lead to finished fuels with lower carbon intensity, which is a measure of greenhouse gases associated with producing and consuming a fuel. This can be a significant marketing advantage for heating oil companies trying to combat the use of natural gas.
Feedstock flexibility is a key feature of distilled biodiesel. Distillation is the purification of a liquid — in this case biodiesel. Distillation is better than other purification methods at removing minor components, such as steryl glucosides, which are naturally present in vegetable oils.
Besides feedstock flexibility, the top benefits of distilled biodiesel are:
1. Cold weather performance. Minor components can contribute to filter plugging. Since distillation does a superior job removing minor components the finished fuel has advanced cold flow properties. In fact, even at a higher Cloud Point, distilled biodiesel can outperform undistilled low cloud biodiesel.
2. Distillation helps create the purest type of biodiesel. A purer biodiesel means there are fewer minor components. Fewer minor components means less effort is required to fully mix the biodiesel molecules and petroleum molecules.
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