The California's Air Resources Board recently identified biodiesel as the best fuel for reducing carbon emissions, according to a recent announcement by the National Biodiesel Board. This is great news for heating oil customers, because heating oil marketers are already blending millions of gallons of biodiesel into heating oil to reduce carbon emissions.

Recent tests conducted by Brookhaven National Laboratory and others have confirmed that biodiesel is highly compatible with heating oil equipment. With that test data in hand, ASTM International recently approved grades of heating oil that contain up to 20 percent biodiesel. A 20 percent biodiesel blend makes ultra low sulfur heating oil less carbon intensive than natural gas, which means that some heating oil customers are already doing more to prevent climate change than their neighbors who heat with natural gas.

Low-carbon biodiesel is so similar to heating oil that the National Oilheat Research Alliance is pursuing research on new burners that can accommodate 100 percent biodiesel in place of petroleum fuel - as well as all blends of the two fuels.

In California, the Air Resources Board recently finalized the state's revised Low Carbon Fuels Standard and affirmed that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent and often by as much as 81 percent versus petroleum. "This gives biodiesel the best carbon score among all liquid fuels," the article states.

"As part of the state's low carbon fuel standard, the Air Resources Board has refined comprehensive lifecycle analysis to quantify the carbon intensity of conventional and alternative fuels," the Biodiesel Board reports. "More than seven years of analysis have gone into addressing questions, including indirect land use change. California's lifecycle model incorporates all the impacts for producing a fuel's raw materials including conversion and transportation. The model also includes the indirect economic impacts of growth in global agriculture - making it one of the most thorough and rigorous evaluations ever done to quantify the environmental footprint of biofuels."

To read the National Biodiesel Board announcement, click here.