Biodiesel isn't just for your truck or tractor any longer. Many people are heating their homes with this clean-burning, renewable fuel. For years, homeowners have overlooked biodiesel an alternative for fuel oil. Oil was simply much cheaper. But now, with oil prices on the rise, biodiesel is fast becoming a less expensive alternative. The so-called BioHeat blends contain 5 percent, 10 percent or 20 percent biofuel mixed with heating oil. All these blends can be burned in a conventional oil furnace [source: Cuda].
Biofuels release fewer pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere, helping decrease heat-trapping gases. Also, biofuels are produced from so-called "energy crops" that include wheat, corn, soybeans and sugarcane, so they are sustainable. There is not enough biofuel to supply everyone who has an oil burner, however. There are only 19 distributors in the United States that supply BioHeat blends to residential customers [source: Cuda].