Evaluation of Biomass-Derived Distillate Fuel as Renewable Heating Oil
The utilization of advanced biofuels in stationary applications, such as home heating, is considered as an early entry point for biomass-derived fuels into the distillate fuel market sector. Two renewable fuels produced by a biomass fluidized catalytic cracking (BFCC) process, followed by hydroprocessing and fractionation, were tested. The evaluation was performed on a pure (100%) distillate fraction, 50% blend of the distillate fraction with petroleum-based heating oil, and 20% blend of a heavier gas oil fraction. Combustion experiments were carried out in a transparent quartz chamber and a typical oil-fired residential boiler. The flame stability, size, and shape produced by the fuels were examined. The flue gas was analyzed for O-2, CO, NOx, and smoke. The elastomer compatibility test was performed with nitrile slabs at 43 degrees C for 1 month. Fuel stability was examined at 80 degrees C for 1 week. The results from the combustion studies suggest that the distillate fuel blends could be used as alternative fuels to No. 2 heating oil, even up to 100% without any operational issues. The distillate fuels were found to be stable. and the nitrile slab volume swell (similar to 10%) suggests that the fuel could be compatible to legacy elastomers.