Biodiesel, heating oil mixes well in Northeast

By | January 01, 2006
In New York, biodiesel use in the state's public building heating systems and fuel tanks should increase noticeably. At least that's what New York Gov. George Pataki intended when he issued an Executive Order recently, calling on all state and public authorities to up their consumption of biofuels. At least 5 percent of heating oil used in state buildings must be biodiesel by 2012, according to a governor's office release. Additional measures relating to both biodiesel and ethanol production incentives were also included in the order, among other use-related mandates.

In Maine, biodiesel use in heating systems continues to grow. According to Maine Audubon Communications Director Marie Malin, the wildlife conservation group finds many benefits in using biodiesel-blended heating oil. "It costs a little extra per year, but we think it's worth it," Malin told Biodiesel Magazine. Bioheat is used to heat buildings at Maine Audubon's headquarters on its 65-acre wildlife sanctuary, Gilsland Farm, an accessible nature-rich refuge near downtown Portland.

Malin, who uses biodiesel in her 2000 diesel Volkswagen Golf TDI, said the state Audubon began using B20 bio-heating oil a couple years ago and now has a supply contract signed with Independence Fuels of Dartmouth, Maine. Audubon also uses B5 in its Gilsland Farm tractor, which is used for mowing in the summer and snow plowing in the winter.
Maine Audubon's mission is to protect wildlife through education, conservation and action, Malin said. "It comes back to the wildlife for us," she said. "And this is an easy way for us to make a difference."

The state of Maine has also been using biodiesel blends to heat its state buildings in the past couple years, in part thanks to Gov. John Baldacci's clean energy initiatives and growing support being seen in the Northeast.
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