You might hear the terms furnace oil, fuel oil and home heating oil from time to time, perhaps even in reference to the heating oil that powers your boiler or furnace. But are they all the same product? Well, not exactly.
Fuel oil is the broader term since it refers to any petroleum product that can power a home heating system or an engine. Furnace oil or home heating oil has a stricter definition because it applies to the heating fuel your furnace (or hot water boiler) uses to heat your home.
All of these fuels are derived from crude oil during the refining process, which separates crude oil into different “fractions” while removing impurities.
The lighter fractions of crude oil eventually become propane, butane, and petrochemicals while heavier fractions are used to produce gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel, diesel fuel, and No. 2 home heating oil. Even heavier fractions become No. 4 or No. 6 heating oils. This is used for commercial and industrial buildings, schools, and hospitals.
In much of the country, heating oil has been reformulated with Bioheat® fuel, which is ultra-low sulfur heating oil that’s blended with renewable biodiesel. Bioheat fuel blends represent the future of heating oil in our country, and New Jersey is one of the leaders in making this clean-burning fuel available to heating oil consumers in the Garden State.
The most refined grade of heating oil available, Bioheat fuel is one of the cleanest burning heating sources for your home. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions significantly and no changes to your existing heating oil system are necessary.
The biodiesel blend in Bioheat fuel is composed of various organic products, including vegetable oils, animal fats and even algae. New studies have also shown the viability of using various grasses for the production of biofuel.
Biodiesel is considered a biogenic fuel that eliminates carbon output. By contrast, when traditional fossil fuels that do not contain biodiesel are burned, they take carbon that was stored in soil and put 100% of that carbon into the atmosphere.
The combustion of biofuels and other biogenic energy sources recycles carbon-dioxide emissions through renewable plant materials and other biomass feedstocks. That’s why you’ll keep hearing a lot about net-zero carbon emissions in the years ahead.
Find out more about the commitment of New Jersey heating oil companies to deliver clean-burning Bioheat fuel to your heating oil tank.