NORA Survey: Mechanical Issues Related to Biodiesel Blending


The National Oilheat Research Alliance issued a ‘Survey on Mechanical Issues Related to Biodiesel Blending.’ The survey was conducted in 2016 and the report based on the responses was prepared by Dr. Thomas Butcher of NORA. To see the entire 15-page report, dated March 2017, click here.

Here is the abstract from the report:

Increasingly, biodiesel is being used as a blend stock in home heating oil. Currently, 5% biodiesel blends (B-5) are being used seamlessly across the market. Some fuel marketers are delivering B-20 to all of their customers and a few are delivering much higher blends. This strong change in the fuel mix in this market leads to concerns about the impact on reliability and service.

Biodiesel is a well-defined standard fuel with quality programs in place and the stability of this fuel has been studied. However, it is a relatively new fuel. To evaluate the impact that biodiesel use is having on service requirements, an on-line survey was completed in 2016. This is an update of a similar study conducted in 2012-2013.

The 2016 use survey was sent to three identified groups, including companies which have registered as users of the Bioheat (biodiesel blends for heating applications) logo; company owners, presidents and general managers; and service managers. A total of 139 responses were received.


Overall, the responses do not indicate a clear technical area of concern with biodiesel use. Some respondents indicated increased service requirements, but the distribution of the technical areas was similar to those observed in surveys conducted before biodiesel use in this market.


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