The Biodiesel Heating Alternative

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Biodiesel fuel may most often get linked to efficient fuel vehicles, but it has become a strong alternative for heating fuel in residential homes.

What makes it enticing to some is that biodiesel fuel is also a source of renewable energy. It has developed into a nice clean-burning fuel alternative that reduces dependence on petroleum. This makes it popular to some people who are environmentally-conscious.

The substance is derived from a mix of vegetable oil, recycled cooking oil, and animal fats to form what is biodiesel. An advanced form of biofuel, biodiesel is referred to as the pure fuel before it gets blended in with diesel fuel, usually between five to 20 percent, to become biodiesel fuel.

According to Biodiesel.org, “biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 57 percent and up to 86 percent when compared to petroleum diesel – making it one of the most practical and cost-effective ways to immediately address climate change.”

Here are some areas where biodiesel fuel can help in your own home.

Heating

Biodiesel fuel can actually be used as home heating oil either as an additive or as an alternative fuel source in a furnace or boiler. When used as such, it is often referred to as “bioheat.”Whatever its name, the fuel source creates far less pollution in your own home. It is also biodegradable meaning it can be decomposed easier than other types of fuels.

Usually a 20 percent blend of biodiesel is appropriate. Anything higher could have a negative impact on gaskets and rubber seals. Also, the 20 percent blend can cut down on certain emissions such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Higher blends can also help in cleaning out in-house fuel pipes to improve heating efficiency. However, avoid using large amounts to provide potential clogging.

Image courtesy of EcoFriend.com

Electricity

Biodiesel can be a co-generating source for indoor power due to methane found in it from the vegetable component of its makeup. It can be used in conjunction with coal in order to generate some electric power. Some people use it as a supplement on solar power for days involving a lack of sun. It also is an option as a source to run transportation vehicles, given the environmental benefits.

Cleaning and Paint Removal

In the form of B100, biodiesel is actually makes for an effective solvent against grease. Some use a bucket to drop tools and other items into the mix. It also does a good job of cleaning metal. It is effective because it is less toxic than table salt. So it causes less air pollution within your home when used and it doesn’t cause as much potential damage to the tools due to its low toxicity.

Tax Credits

Yes, using biodiesel fuel once again can be used to help you come income tax time. After letting it expire at the end of 2014, Congress reinstated a federal $1 per gallon blenders tax credit in December 2015. The government branch also retroactively renewed it for the 2015 calendar year and it doesn’t expire until the end of 2016.

This means that those who install equipment concerning biodiesel fuel in both 2015 and 2016 can be eligible for up to $500 over all years combined. Those who already claimed the full $500 tax credit in previous years are ineligible.