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Title: Ultra Low Sulfur Home Heating Oil Demonstration Project

Abstract

This Ultra Low Sulfur (ULS) Home Heating Oil Demonstration Project was funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and has successfully quantified the environmental and economic benefits of switching to ULS (15 PPM sulfur) heating oil. It advances a prior field study of Low Sulfur (500 ppm sulfur) heating oil funded by NYSERDA and laboratory research conducted by Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and Canadian researchers. The sulfur oxide and particulate matter (PM) emissions are greatly reduced as are boiler cleaning costs through extending cleaning intervals. Both the sulfur oxide and PM emission rates are directly related to the fuel oil sulfur content. The sulfur oxide and PM emission rates approach near-zero levels by switching heating equipment to ULS fuel oil, and these emissions become comparable to heating equipment fired by natural gas. This demonstration project included an in-depth review and analysis of service records for both the ULS and control groups to determine any difference in the service needs for the two groups. The detailed service records for both groups were collected and analyzed and the results were entered into two spreadsheets that enabled a quantitative side-by-side comparison of equipment service for the entire durationmore » of the ULS test project. The service frequency for the ULS and control group were very similar and did indicate increased service frequency for the ULS group. In fact, the service frequency with the ULS group was slightly less (7.5 percent) than the control group. The only exception was that three burner fuel pump required replacement for the ULS group and none were required for the control group.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Energy Research Center, Inc., Easton, CT (United States)
  2. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Albany, NY(United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1232685
Report Number(s):
BNL-108353-2015-IR
600301010
DOE Contract Number:
SC00112704
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM

Citation Formats

Batey, John E., and McDonald, Roger. Ultra Low Sulfur Home Heating Oil Demonstration Project. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.2172/1232685.
Batey, John E., & McDonald, Roger. Ultra Low Sulfur Home Heating Oil Demonstration Project. United States. doi:10.2172/1232685.
Batey, John E., and McDonald, Roger. 2015. "Ultra Low Sulfur Home Heating Oil Demonstration Project". United States. doi:10.2172/1232685. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1232685.
@article{osti_1232685,
title = {Ultra Low Sulfur Home Heating Oil Demonstration Project},
author = {Batey, John E. and McDonald, Roger},
abstractNote = {This Ultra Low Sulfur (ULS) Home Heating Oil Demonstration Project was funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and has successfully quantified the environmental and economic benefits of switching to ULS (15 PPM sulfur) heating oil. It advances a prior field study of Low Sulfur (500 ppm sulfur) heating oil funded by NYSERDA and laboratory research conducted by Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and Canadian researchers. The sulfur oxide and particulate matter (PM) emissions are greatly reduced as are boiler cleaning costs through extending cleaning intervals. Both the sulfur oxide and PM emission rates are directly related to the fuel oil sulfur content. The sulfur oxide and PM emission rates approach near-zero levels by switching heating equipment to ULS fuel oil, and these emissions become comparable to heating equipment fired by natural gas. This demonstration project included an in-depth review and analysis of service records for both the ULS and control groups to determine any difference in the service needs for the two groups. The detailed service records for both groups were collected and analyzed and the results were entered into two spreadsheets that enabled a quantitative side-by-side comparison of equipment service for the entire duration of the ULS test project. The service frequency for the ULS and control group were very similar and did indicate increased service frequency for the ULS group. In fact, the service frequency with the ULS group was slightly less (7.5 percent) than the control group. The only exception was that three burner fuel pump required replacement for the ULS group and none were required for the control group.},
doi = {10.2172/1232685},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 9
}

Technical Report:

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  • This project was funded by NYSERDA and has clearly demonstrated many advantages of using low sulfur content heating oil to provide thermal comfort in homes. Prior laboratory research in the United States and Canada had indicated a number of potential benefits of using lower sulfur (0.05%) heating oil. However, this prior research has not resulted in the widespread use of low sulfur fuel oil in the marketplace. The research project described in this report was conducted with the assistance of a well-established fuel oil marketer in New York State (NYS) and has provided clear proof of the many real-world advantagesmore » of marketing and using low sulfur content No. 2 fuel oil. The very positive experience of the participating marketer over the past three years has already helped to establish low sulfur heating oil as a viable option for many other fuel marketers. In large part, based on the initial findings of this project and the experience of the participating NYS oilheat marketer, the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) has already fully supported a resolution calling for the voluntary use of low sulfur (0.05 percent) home heating oil nationwide. The NORA resolution has the goal of converting eighty percent of all oil-heated homes to the lower sulfur fuel (0.05 percent by weight) by the year 2007. The Oilheat Manufacturers Association (OMA) has also passed a resolution fully supporting the use of lower sulfur home heating oil in the equipment they manufacture. These are important endorsements by prominent national oil heat associations. Using lower sulfur heating oil substantially lowers boiler and furnace fouling rates. Laboratory studies had indicated an almost linear relationship between sulfur content in the oil and fouling rates. The completed NYSERDA project has verified past laboratory studies in over 1,000 occupied residential homes over the course of three heating seasons. In fact, the reduction in fouling rates so clearly demonstrated by this project is almost the same as predicted by past laboratory studies. Fouling deposition rates are reduced by a factor of two to three by using lower sulfur oil. This translates to a potential for substantial service cost savings by extending the interval between labor-intensive cleanings of the internal surfaces of the heating systems in these homes. In addition, the time required for annual service calls can be lowered, reducing service costs and customer inconvenience. The analyses conducted as part of this field demonstration project indicates that service costs can be reduced by up to $200 million a year nationwide by using lower sulfur oil and extending vacuum cleaning intervals depending on the labor costs and existing cleaning intervals. The ratio of cost savings to added fuel costs is economically attractive based on past fuel price differentials for the lower sulfur product. The ratio of cost savings to added costs vary widely as a function of hourly service rates and the additional cost for lower sulfur oil. For typical values, the expected benefit is a factor of two to four higher than the added fuel cost. This means that for every dollar spent on higher fuel cost, two to four dollars can be saved by lowered vacuum cleaning costs when the cleaning intervals are extended. Information contained in this report can be used by individual oil marketers to estimate the benefit to cost ratio for their specific applications. Sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide air emissions are reduced substantially by using lower sulfur fuel oil in homes. Sulfur oxides emissions are lowered by 75 percent by switching from fuel 0.20 percent to 0.05 percent sulfur oil. This is a reduction of 63,000 tons a year nationwide. In New York State, sulfur oxide emissions are reduced by 13,000 tons a year. This translates to a total value of $12 million a year in Sulfur Oxide Emission Reduction Credits for an emission credit cost of $195 a ton. While this ''environmental cost'' dollar savings is smaller than the potential service costs reduction, it is very significant. It represents an important reduction in air pollutants that contribute directly to acid rain and other adverse impacts in the United States. When all air emissions are included, low sulfur content home heating oil and utility gas are virtually equal in their environmental impacts.« less
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