Soybean growers and biodiesel expanding Bioheat heating oil use

Written on: February 17, 2017 by ICM

By John Vogel, American Agriculturist
Millions of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic homeowners now stay snug and dry amid winter’s cold, thanks in part to U.S. soybean growers. How’s that?
Both regions are already primed for a cleaner-burning heating oil. And soybean growers provide a major feedstock for biodiesel to blend with ultralow-sulfur heating oil. This heating oil blend, called Bioheat, bodes better than biodiesel with regards to consumer acceptance.

Both regions are already primed for a cleaner-burning heating oil. And soybean growers provide a major feedstock for biodiesel to blend with ultralow-sulfur heating oil. This heating oil blend, called Bioheat, bodes better than biodiesel with regards to consumer acceptance.
The Northeast, alone, is already a 5.28 million-home market for heating oil — 88% of the total U.S. homeowner market burning heating oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It’s also home to 34% of commercial sector use by industry, offices and municipalities. New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey are the top five heating oil states, respectively.
Bioheat replaces a portion of petroleum-based heating oil with biodiesel, which is often soy-based. That blend delivers a cleaner, nontoxic fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. That clean fuel factor has been quickly adopted by major heating oil retailers, such as Worley & Obetz of southeast Pennsylvania.Bioheat
Growth market in making
“The U.S. has been using biodiesel in trucks and tractors for more than 20 years,” says Ralph Lott, a USB farmer-leader and soybean grower from Seneca Falls, N.Y. “Bioheat represents an exciting growth market and an opportunity to have an economic impact; the checkoff is working to make that market an even bigger reality. “These cities in the Northeast use a lot of heating oil, so the potential to convert to a biodiesel blend holds significant benefits for building owners and residents,” says Lott. “We’re providing a solution for them while ultimately looking at what can provide more value for U.S. soybean farmers.”
Used in 23 states, residential heating oil represents at least a 4 billion-gallon market annually. Many municipalities, particularly in the Northeast, have adopted policies favoring Bioheat use.
New York City, for example, requires Bioheat be used at a 2% level, with an increase to 5% coming later in 2017. With NYC using 40 million gallons of pure biodiesel annually and growing, soybean farmers have an opportunity to increase demand for soybean oil.
Article courtesy of American Agriculturist