OFTEC and ICOM team up to provide Fuel for Thought!
8th February 2008
The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) and the ICOM Energy Association (ICOM) have joined forces on an ambitious new biofuels research project. The project will cost £0.25m, and will determine how a bio-heating oil blend could replace traditional off gas main fuels for domestic and commercial heating applications.
Jeremy Hawksley, OFTEC Director General, explained “with fossil fuels becoming more expensive as oil demand increases in developing countries whilst oil reserves diminish, it’s possible that heating oil in its current form may become uneconomic. Furthermore, the threat of climate change is forcing governments to enact legislation aimed at reducing CO2 emissions from all fuels.”
Both OFTEC and ICOM believe that a bio-heating oil blend could replace kerosene and gas oil as a liquid fuel and become the fuel of choice for both domestic and commercial heating applications. A liquid biofuel would address the problems of diminishing oil reserves, and help substantially reduce carbon emissions. Research has already shown that biofuels used for heating will have a more positive effect on carbon emissions than using biofuels for road transport.
“With electricity and gas prices continuing to rise and a legally binding UK renewable energy target of 15% by 2020, existing users of heating oil must be provided with a bio-fuel option or we will have let down our customers in both the commercial and domestic sectors”, stated Peter McCree, Chief Executive of ICOM.
The project is due to start soon, and will be carried out at the University of Anglia in conjunction with the Clean Energy Consultancy based in Norfolk. Dr Bruce Tofield of Carbon Connections and the University of East Anglia said “Carbon Connections is delighted to be involved with such an innovative project, one of many low carbon, high impact projects we have invested in. The potential carbon savings of heating a large number of homes and businesses with biofuels will go a long way towards helping the UK meet its carbon reduction targets and we are proud to play a part.”
The three stages of the project consist of combustion laboratory testing, field trials and a final project combustion report. The last stage is scheduled for completion by May 2009. The key objective of the project is to show that liquid biofuels can be a ‘straight swap’ for traditional heating oils.
Project field trials will test up to 30 oil fired appliances over a 12 month period to determine long term reliability. Combustion head condition, emissions, oil tank condition, filters, valves, fuel lines, fuel seals, appliance efficiency and combustion chamber corrosion rates will all be evaluated.
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Article Last Updated 8th February 2008