ASTM International, an organization which sets industry consensus standards for fuels and lubricants, has voted to approve performance specifications for blends of 6 to 20 percent biodiesel with traditional heating oil.
The move is part of an industry effort to boost the percentage of cleaner burning biodiesel that homeowners and building managers use in oilheat equipment common to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
The updated ASTM D396 Standard Specification for Fuel Oils, containing the new grade for blends of 6 to 20 percent biodiesel, will be finalized and published by ASTM for public use after the usual ASTM review and editing process. It is expected by February 2015.
The mixture of biodiesel and heating oil is marketed as Bioheat fuel, a registered trademark.
The organization says a 20 percent blend of biodiesel puts Bioheat on par with natural gas, the biggest competitor to oilheat, while higher biodiesel levels up to 100 percent biodiesel could reduce the carbon footprint of Bioheat up to 80 percent compared to traditional fuel oil.