East Coasters Avoid Winter Chills Thanks to Bioheat®
Soybean oil keeps cities warm during Winter Storm Niko
ST. LOUIS (Feb. 9, 2017) – While the Northeast gets rocked by Winter Storm Niko, residents can stay warm with Bioheat®, a clean burning heating oil courtesy of U.S. soybean farmers.
Homes, offices and municipalities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic rely on heating oil to stay warm during the winter. Many areas use Bioheat, a blend of biodiesel and ultra low sulfur heating oil, and that means more demand for soybean farmers. Bioheat replaces petroleum-based heating oil with biodiesel, which is often soy-based, delivering a quality product that is nontoxic and reduces greenhouse gas emissions1. As temps stay cool thanks to Winter Storm Niko, more Bioheat means more profit opportunities for U.S. soybean farmers.
“The U.S. has been using biodiesel in trucks and tractors for more than 20 years,” says Ralph Lott, a soybean farmer from Seneca Falls, New York, and farmer-leader on the United Soybean Board (USB). “Bioheat represents an exciting growth market and an opportunity to have an economic impact; the checkoff is working to make that market an even bigger reality.”
Used in 23 states, residential heating oil represents at least a 4 billion gallon market annually. Many municipalities have adopted policies to impact the use of Bioheat in their districts. New York City, for example, requires Bioheat be used at a two percent level, with an increase to five percent coming later in 2017. With NYC using 40 million gallons of pure biodiesel annually and growing, soybean farmers have an opportunity to increase demand for soybean oil and, in return, increase their profitability.
Aside from the sustainable benefits of Bioheat, it also is what the industry calls a drop-in solution. Bioheat can be used in existing infrastructure, so building owners don’t have to invest in costly upgrades to use the fuel.
“These cities in the Northeast use a lot of heating oil, so the potential to convert to a biodiesel blend holds significant benefits for building owners and residents,” says Lott. “We’re providing a solution for them while ultimately looking at what can provide more value for U.S. soybean farmers.”
1The Massachusetts Bioheat Fuel Pilot Program, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, June 2007
USB’s 73 farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.
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