27 August 2021
Will biofuel replace oil heating and what could this mean for the supply
With UK and Irish governments aiming to cut carbon emissions
as part of their environmental strategies, many businesses and industries are
looking at ways to support this goal.
Within the fuel sector, oil heating is a big contributor to
rising carbon emissions, and therefore climate change.
To reduce the current
impact that oil heated properties are having, biofuels are being investigated
to see if they are a suitable solution.
Here, we explore biofuels and how they could impact the
What is biofuel?
Biofuel is an alternative renewable energy source to fossil
fuels, and are made from:
- Animal materials
- Waste oil
When used for heating households, biofuel can be a more
cost-effective option to other green initiatives such as heat pumps which can
be very expensive to install and run. Not only is biofuel a cheaper, eco-friendly
alternative to heat pumps, it’s also possible to convert an oil boiler to
support biofuel, potentially making it more accessible and cost effective.
How likely is it that biofuel will replace oil heating?
Very likely. In response to the governments’ green pledge,
UK trade associations OFTEC, the Tank Storage Association (TSA) and the UK and
Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) have created a liquid biofuel
supply chain strategy and taskforce to tackle rising carbon emissions by
replacing oil with biofuels in an estimated 2.2 million homes in UK and Ireland.
The taskforce has been brought in to work with other trade
bodies and industry representatives to support the UK’s move to off grid
heating. It will also help the government to maintain a technology-neutral
approach and encourage other industries to find solutions.
How will biofuel affect the supply chain?
Part of the “Supply Chain Strategy for Liquid Fuels” sets
out five challenges to the UK and Irish governments, including two challenges
which discuss the impact of biofuels on the supply chain.
One challenge is to prepare the supply chain to accept a 30%
fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) / 70% kerosene blend fuel into existing
installations by 2027.
To better understand handling, storage and combustion of
non-fossil fuel blends, an industry-led field trial will build on the work
previously undertaken by OFTEC and the University of East Anglia.
Another challenge is to ensure the supply chain can accept a
supply of low carbon (0% fossil) liquid fuel by 2035, following a full assessment
of boiler and tank fleets.
includes field trials of all potential future products which may come into the
UK from other sources.
From the outlined challenges, it can be said that changing
from oil to biofuel will impact the whole supply chain. With field trials still
being conducted on handling, storage and combustion, as well as evaluations of
boiler and tank fleets, more data will give the fuel industry a better insight
into the impact biofuel will have on the supply chain.
Find out more
If you would like to find out more about TouchStar’s current
approach to digitalised logistics for oil and gas, contact us today. Our team of
experts are on hand and more than happy to discuss key operational directives