Oil boilers could benefit from biofuel alternative

The burning of fossil fuel creates carbon dioxide, which pollutes the atmosphere and helps to cause global warming. But there are renewable alternatives to coal, gas and oil, known as biomass and biofuels, which can be used a cheaper alternative for oil boilers.

These environmentally friendly options are made from a sustainable product such as agricultural crops, and are carbon neutral. Oil can easily be replaced by switching to a bioliquid. And it’s believed that by doing so, carbon emissions could be cut by 1.2 million tonnes every year. This would make boilers more environmentally friendly.

This latest research has been released by the Oil Fired Technical Association (OFTEC). There have been many tests over the last 18 months, including one which mixed 30% waste cooking oil with 70% paraffin oil.

The combination was shown to reduce CO2 emissions by 28%, compared to undiluted paraffin oil, which is used in most homes.

And OFTEC say that this blend should be included in the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive, currently on hold. By doing so, they say 90% of oil customers would make the switchover by 2020, and there would be huge carbon savings.

Boilers have a life expectancy between 15 and 20 years. Every year there are around 80,000 oil boilers replaced in the UK, and if they were included on the Renewable Heat Incentive, many customers would switch to the bioliquid.

Director General of OFTEC, Jeremy Hawksley, said: “Our research reveals the significant CO2 savings that could be made if consumers who currently use oil heating switch to an environmentally friendly biofuel blend.

“OFTEC believes there is a real opportunity for the government to help consumers move to a lower carbon energy source and would urge them to include bioliquids in the Renewable Heat Incentive”.

To make bioliquid viable as an oil alternative, OFTEC are saying it has to have a minimum of 8p/kW subsidy in the RHI scheme.


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