Powering our Future


Why Is Ultra-Low Sulfur Fuel Oil Important?

Here are 5 Reasons

ulsfo michigan In recent years, we’ve seen significant improvements in heating oil efficiency and cleanliness, with vast reductions in the sulfur content of heating oil playing a major role. Here are five reasons why this is important.

  1. Ultra-low-sulfur heating oil (ULSHO) has much less sulfur in it than heating oil from the past, which averaged 2,000-3,000 parts per million. ULSHO has only 15 parts per million.
  2. The changeover to ULSHO results in a reduction in emissions of over 70%, compared with the emissions produced by heating oil from a generation ago.
  3. A buildup of sulfur in the heating oil system can lead to system maintenance issues. The drastic reduction of sulfur means that there will be far fewer system issues, which will result in lower maintenance costs for heating oil consumers.
  4. Because there is virtually no sulfur in the heating system now thanks to ULSHO, heating oil systems can burn the fuel more efficiently, resulting in lower heating costs.
  5. ULSHO opens the door for the introduction of super-efficient heating systems, which are already being used with great results in other countries that have been using ULSHO for awhile. These systems can achieve efficiency levels of 90% or more!

Bioheat® Fuel: Another Positive Change

In Michigan, some gallons of ultra-low sulfur heating oil are classified as Bioheat® fuel. Advanced energy solutions like Bioheat fuel combine ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and renewable biodiesel, composed of organic products like used cooking oil, tallow, fats, and algae. Produced in the United States, it is one of the cleanest-burning energy sources.

Biodiesel in Michigan

Biodiesel—the renewable biofuel that’s used in Bioheat fuel for home heating—is also used to provide motor fleets with reliable performance and savings while vastly reducing emissions.

Biodiesel works seamlessly with existing infrastructure and vehicles, and the industry has spent significant time documenting and showcasing the fuel’s abilities.

Today, more than 78% of diesel vehicles coming off production lines are approved for up to B20 use. B20 means a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel. Read more about biodiesel.

In a move to foster energy security, cleaner air and more sustainable transportation, the Michigan Soybean Committee recently announced the formation of the Michigan Advanced Biofuels Coalition.

The mission of the coalition is to promote the use of advanced biofuels, including biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Produced from renewable resources, such as soybean oil and used cooking oil, these fuels reduce lifecycle emissions from diesel vehicles and aircraft by 50% or more compared to petroleum-based fuels.   

What’s Ahead for Heating Oil?

The quality of heating oil will get even better in the years ahead! Over the next decade, oil-heated homes could be using even higher, cleaner-burning bio-blends.

The oilheat industry is excited about these new opportunities because they will positively influence the long-term future of the industry and the environment while uplifting the oil heat experience for millions of customers.

Right now, and in the years ahead, you should feel good about the way you heat your Michigan home every time you get a heating oil delivery.