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Are there any high-efficiency oil burners that will burn pure biodiesel as well as the biodoesel blends?

EJ Palma | Posted in GBA Pro Help on

Are there any high-efficiency oil burners that will burn pure biodiesel as well as the biodoesel blends?
I am in the process of searching for a new oil fired boiler to replace my old one. Natural gas is not available to my site so I would like to install a boiler that would allow me to burn pure cellulosic biodiesel or if unavailable at this point, a biodiesel blend. At this time I am researching Buderus and Viesman boilers. Is there any other make of boiler that you would suggest, and what is your opinion of Buderus and Viesman. My house is properly oriented to the sun (Connecticut, 14 degrees east of south) and has been designed, remodeled and detailed to take advantage of the Passive Solar for our site. I am a professional builder and have been designing and building south facing solariums and sunrooms, as well as energy efficient retrofit detailing of existing houses, since 1982. I have cast iron radiant hydronic baseboard, and the sunroom is heated with a radiant hydronic gypcrete thin slab. The floor plan of my house (2200 square feet)is very open after remodeling and allows very good natural ventilation and heat flow. I am planning to install PV panels in the near future and will be installing solar domestic hot water to compliment the boiler at the end of this year. I checked the online Greenspec directory and only found gas furnaces. Do you have suggestions as to where to look for other products? Thanks for your help. Edward J. Palma

Asked by Edward Palma | Apr 22

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  1. Brian Becker | | #1

    Edward --

    Here's a note from the National Biodiesel Board:

    "At this time no oil burner, boiler or fuel pump manufacturer has approved biodiesel for use in home or commercial oil applications. However with several years of field and laboratory studies well documented the National Oilheat Research Alliance organization has continued to embrace an inclusion of 5% biodiesel as a blend stock into number two heating oil. The inclusion of biodiesel in heating oil has no drawbacks relating to combustion however in storage higher percentages of biodiesel has a similar drawback such as expeditious cleaning of dirty oil tanks, sedimentation formation from copper lines which are common throughout the heating oil industry and seal compatibility in the oil burner sealing compounds. At this time the National Biodiesel Board is working closely with NORA, burner, boiler and pump companies to arrest each of their concerns enabling safe usage of biodiesel as a heating oil blending stock."


  2. Daniel Morrison | | #2

    I've been using biodiesel in my old American Standard boiler for a few years now. I'm using a 20% blend. I live in CT also and get my biodiesel from [Hale Hill Farm]( I've had no problems.

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