The opportunity to gather the latest information and sometimes to contest it is one of the main reasons to attend any trade show, and so it was with the second annual Eastern Energy Expo in Hershey, Pa. Organizers of the show emphasize that education is a main purpose of the event, and that was demonstrated by the numerous seminars on the program, including a presentation titled, “Overcoming Fueling Fears: Choosing Components for Dealing with Today’s Bio and ULSD Blends.”
Craig Butler, product manager of residential oil burners and tank accessories for R.W. Beckett Corp., reported that the burner manufacturer based in North Ridgeville, Ohio, is conducting ongoing testing of interaction of biofuels with storage tanks and heating equipment, and he discussed the company’s findings.
“My presentation was basically more directed at the dealers so that they understand that the fuels are changing and there are differences between the traditional number 2 oil and these new renewables,” Butler told Fuel Oil News in a phone interview the week after the show, which ran from May 21-25. “We just want to make sure that they understand what these differences are and make the right choices going forward.” Butler also said during that interview, “We want to do everything we can as a burner manufacturer to support the move to renewables, whatever they may be—biodiesel, renewable diesel—we want to be as supportive as we possibly can.”
In its response, the National Biodiesel Board’s technical director, Scott Fenwick, and Steve Howell, a consultant who works with the Board and is chairman of the ASTM Biodiesel Task Force, wrote in part, “We were disappointed that instead of quelling fears and providing constructive guidance and lessons learned and helping build confidence in biodiesel use, much of the presentation seemed to be dedicated to fueling those fears and revisiting questions or issues about biodiesel blends long since addressed through over six years of highly technical work and over 10 years of successful market experience that went into securing the ASTM Standards for B6-B20 in D396.” ASTM D396 is the standard for heating oil used in residential and commercial burners. Fenwick and Howell also noted that helpful information came out of the presentation. That had to do with sounding the alarm against adding straight vegetable oil to biodiesel, which both sides agreed is beyond a bad idea. For more on this subject, see the article “R.W. Beckett Studying Interaction of Biofuels with Tanks, Burners; NBB Responds.” It appears here on the website and on pg. 20 of the July print issue.
Another aspect of the Expo that deservedly draws great attention is the awarding of Dave Nelsen Scholarships by the Oil and Energy Service Professionals. A number in the group of six scholarship winners have grown up in family-owned fuel oil businesses, and all seem intent on making their careers in the industry. That is an ambition that James Mahoney of Eastern Oil Co. in Peekskill, N.Y., appreciates. Mahoney received the Service Manager of the Year award at the banquet. Mahoney has worked at Eastern Oil for 37 years. He remembers attending monthly dinners sponsored by what was then the National Association of Oil Heating Service Managers, where as a 25-year-old he would “pick the brains of the old guys” for tips on how to deal with various challenges. Now the younger attendees of OESP meetings pick his brains, Mahoney said, “And I love that!”