Availability and Integration of Renewable and Alternative Fuels

Sustainability is top of mind for many organizations these days. Strategies to reduce your carbon footprint tend to fall within one or more of the following: Decarbonization, Renewable Fuels, Energy Efficiency, and/or Emissions Reduction.


Paul Brown, Vice President, Custom Boiler Systems – Cleaver-Brooks


To define alternative fuels, we must first define what are conventional fuels. Conventional fuels are standardized fuels from fossil origins. In the boiler industry, these primarily include natural gas, propane and oils ranging from diesel to heavy oil. In solid form, we have coal. Because of its fossil origin, conventional fuel usage results in an increase of atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gas concentration. Two very important qualities of conventional fuels are their consistent properties and their almost flawless availability. We will see later that this makes a big difference in how we approach alternative fuel projects.

Alternative fuel on the other hand, is a general term that qualifies all the fuels that are not conventional. They can be produced from many types of biomass waste material, they can be byproducts derived from some chemical process, or they can be the product of a dedicated and highly engineered process that uses non-fossil feedstock.

As noted in Figure 1, everything starts with the plant, which will produce new plant material through the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis uses the energy from the sun to separate the carbon from the oxygen in the CO2 molecule that the plant captures from the ambient air.

Discover More

{{ 'Education & Training' | limitTo: 50 }}

Cleaver-Brooks has a dedicated Training Department offering Web-Based Programs, Co-Sponsored Authorized Representative Regional Programs, Custom On-Site Programs at the customer’s facility, and programs held at Cleaver-Brooks facilities.

{{ 'Genuine Parts' | limitTo: 50 }}

Purchasing Cleaver-Brooks Genuine Parts is the best way to keep your boiler system operating at peak performance. Our parts are precision-engineered to fit your boiler, and they are rigorously tested for quality to ensure your boiler runs safely and reliably.

{{ 'Rental Solutions & Services' | limitTo: 50 }}

Our rental solutions provide for: capacity increases, peak demand, plant or steam outages, equipment shutdown due to inspection, retrofit or repair, and redundancy or disaster response contingency plan.