Grant invests over €250k in R&D to support drive for biofuel to heat Irish properties

In a bid to help reduce carbon emissions in rural and hard to heat Irish properties, Ireland’s leading heating appliance manufacturer Grant, has invested over €250,000 in pioneering a major R&D breakthrough to do just this. 

Over the past six years Grant’s R&D team has worked with third level institutions, industry partners and renewable fuel producers, focusing on more sustainable and carbon saving fuels. In addition, the manufacturer has also innovated its award-winning Vortex boiler range to be biofuel compatible. All new Grant condensing boilers are now future-proofed to use HVO through making a slight modification to the boiler and older Grant condensing boilers can also be adapted to HVO.

Founder, Stephen Grant

Commenting on the R&D project, founder Stephen Grant said, “In the early days of our research, we identified potential bio and synthetic fuels that would both meet greenhouse gas reduction targets and be commercially viable. This began with developing a boiler that could use a biofuel called FAME (fatty acid methyl esters). Our team successfully used a 30% blend of FAME with regular kerosene, although problems arose when the blend of biofuel exceeded 30%. This resulted in increased NOx emissions, issues with fuel storage stability and more rapid aging or poor performance in cold conditions.”

“The breakthrough came during testing and field trialling with boilers successfully using 100% biofuel known as Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO). While HVO is a relatively new fuel to Ireland, in Europe and the UK it is used for Marine and Public Transport and to power generators. In Europe, Neste a Finnish company, is the largest producer of HVO with plants in Finland and Rotterdam.”, added Stephen.

HVO currently available in the UK and Ireland is manufactured from 100% renewable and sustainable waste derived raw materials and certified via the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) scheme. Other producers include Italian Energy company ENI and French Energy company TOTAL. Additional HVO plants throughout the EU and UK are also currently under construction. 

Stephen comments, “The use of 100% HVO, can result in around 88% reduction in carbon emissions and using this or a percentage blend of HVO with kerosene, will enable rural and hard to heat Irish homes to transition to a renewable green alternative from 100% kerosene at an affordable cost and minimum disruption to their home lives. In terms of renewable heating, using 100% HVO could in fact provide a more sustainable way to heat existing homes than a heat pump.”

Biofuel compatible Grant Vortex range *depending on biofuel and % blend

One very important benefit of HVO to the Irish construction industry is that builders and relevant trades can continue to focus on building new houses in large numbers without being diverted to slow and costly deep retrofitting projects, enabling more heat pumps to be fitted.

“Utilising HVO will also help Ireland to significantly decarbonise approximately 680,000 existing residential homes, at a cost of approximately €500 per existing oil boiler installation when matching and changing to a new biofuel burner and substantially less if the boiler is already biofuel ready”, said Stephen.

Think Heating. Think Grant. 

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