Category Archives: NORA

07Aug/20

NORA President on Low-Carbon Liquid Fuels

NORA President, John Huber, spoke with Eurofuel about the necessity of low-carbon liquid fuels in the U.S. and the joint conference on the Future of Liquid Fuels that NORA is hosting with Eurofuel on consecutive Wednesdays starting August 19.

What role can low carbon fuels play in climate protection?

NORA President John Huber

The economic activity of a high percentage of our economy is linked to carbon fuels. Heat, electricity and transportation represent almost 46% of carbon emissions. If we do not address fuels, we are essentially not addressing global warming which is not an acceptable answer.  Thus, we must have lower carbon fuels.  As an industry that supplies liquid fuels we must supply the right low-carbon answer or we are essentially conceding the battle.  

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28Jul/20

Three New Online Courses

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) has added three new online courses to its training center at Learning.NORAweb.org. Two of them, Advanced Heating Fuel Storage Tanks and Advanced Efficiency, are components of NORA’s technician Gold Certification program and offer six continuing education credits (CEU) each. The third, Bioheat® Technical Guidance offers one credit.

Advanced Heating Fuel Storage Tanks and Advanced Efficiency join Advanced Hydronincs as online courses providing three of the requisite four advanced Gold Series courses necessary to upgrade to NORA Gold Certified Technician status.

According to NORA’s President, John Huber, “It is important for technicians to have the ability to upgrade their certifications online. With the addition of these Gold courses, we are very near that goal.” NORA anticipates adding two more Gold courses in the coming months.

“Video courses are an efficient and popular way to put important training material in front of as many technicians and students in the field as possible. They are free to the user and now that travel is restricted and many industry conferences have been cancelled, online courses are a great solution to maintaining certifications and gaining knowledge,” said NORA’s Director of Education, John Levey.

These three courses join the library of courses already on the site. These cover topics from equipment service to oil delivery to tank installation.
To access the courses, a technician or student must have an active user account at Learning.NORAweb.org.

30Jun/20

Impact on service by biodiesel blends in heating oil

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) has conducted periodic surveys to assess the impact and role that biofuels play in the marketplace. Many view low-carbon fuels as the best path for the industry as it reduces its environmental impact. Biodiesel is a low-carbon fuel that is available in most markets, is used widely and offers significant reduction of the amount of carbon dioxide released by heating appliances.

NORA has conducted ongoing research in this area and has found that the transition to higher blends of biodiesel can occur with low costs and little impact on the consumer. A number of retailers have been selling the higher blends of biodiesel.

To verify/validate the lab conclusions on biodiesel, NORA conducted a wide-ranging survey of retailers and service personnel. This latest survey, completed in December 2019 is summarized here.

See the survey report here

16Mar/20

Technical Note: Nitrile Rubber and B20 Biodiesel Blends

A significant amount of new testing data on nitrile performance in U.S. heating oil equipment with biodiesel meeting today’s stringent ASTM standards is now available. This recent testing shows common nitrile elastomers in typical heating oil burner pumps in the U.S. perform the same or better using B20 than those using conventional No. 2 heating oil. The validity of this testing is supported by elastomer manufacturers marketing B-100 nitrile which could, if appropriate, be used by burner manufacturers. See Technical note here.

22Jan/19

Environmental Benefits of Biodiesel

Biodiesel significantly reduces Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions compared to petroleum. The most comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date lifecycle analysis of U.S. biodiesel produced from soybean oil concludes that GHG emissions are reduced 66-72% relative to average U.S. petroleum
while not trading off food-for-fuel nor destroying forests.

All of this is carefully explained in the report Environmental Benefits of Biodiesel and the Renewable Fuel Standard.

21Dec/18

NORA Extended into 2029

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA)  is pleased to announce that President Trump, on December 20, 2018, signed a ten-year extension for NORA allowing NORA activities to run uninterrupted for the first time ever.

Huber
John Huber

 As a component of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (popularly known as the “Farm Bill”), NORA is authorized to extend its activities until February 6, 2029. This was a great victory for the industry, as all previous extensions were limited to five years. NORA president John Huber praised the efforts within the industry as well from other partners.

”NORA offers special thanks to the organizations and individuals in the heating oil industry that worked so hard and effectively to see this through. The Petroleum Marketers Association of America’s (PMMA) family of associations was particularly effective. We had strong support in the Senate from Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Patrick Leahy (VT), and Susan Collins (ME) who shepherded this through.

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24Oct/18

Technical Workshop and the Oilheat Vision

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) recently hosted its Third Annual Technology Workshop in conjunction with the Southern New England Energy Conference on September 24th and 25th at the Newport Marriott, Newport, Rhode Island.   

NORA’s Workshop highlighted the research work being done at the NORA lab, NORA sponsored projects, innovations underway in Europe and technology advances of companies in the industry.

With a theme of “finding the path forward” for the oilheat industry, the workshop showcased 15 speakers from the U.S. and Europe followed by a panel discussing where the industry sees immediate and long-term threats and which technologies and initiatives can address them.

You can see each of the speakers and their presentations here

15Oct/18

Outgoing NORA Chairman Leaves Research Legacy

Tom Santa, Santa Energy, Bridgeport, CT, has been the Chairman of the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) since 2017 with his term expiring at the end 2018. For decades, Santa has been a strong advocate of oilheating research. He was an active participant in many Brookhaven Technology Conferences, with a particular interest in bringing a rigorous understanding of the need for good data to assess fuel quality.

When Santa took over as Chairman, NORA’s Research Laboratory in Plainview, NY was still in its infancy. With very little equipment in place, and with the well regarded Dr. Tom Butcher at the helm, Santa focused on ensuring the industry developed new technologies and a better understanding of the industries’ problems and potential solutions. An active, scientifically sound and well respected lab was vital to achieve this. In addition to Dr. Butcher, a strong team needed to be put in place, preferably young talent. Dr. Butcher was encouraged to develop and work with recent graduates and promising students from nearby Stony Brook University. Continue reading

24Jul/18

NORA Technical Workshop Final Agenda

Once again, the oilheating industry will gather in Newport, RI for a day of technical presentations and discussions as NORA hosts its 3rd Annual Technical Workshop on September 24th and 25th at the Newport Marriott, Newport, RI.

As it was last year, the Workshop will be held in conjunction with the Southern New England Energy Conference which is sponsored by the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, the Oilheat Institute of Rhode Island and the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association.

The Workshop will highlight the research work being done at the NORA lab, NORA’s sponsored projects, innovations underway in Europe and technology advances from companies within the oilheating industry.

The workshop will offer presentations in the following areas:
  • NORA Goals
  • New Technologies for Liquid Fuels 
  • Achieving Higher Efficiency
  • Biofuels
  • New Ideas for Industry 
  • Panel Discussion on Future

Download the workshop agenda

Registration for the NORA Technical Workshop is included the the Southern New England Energy Conference registration.