Biodiesel Home Heating

Biodiesel Home Heating: Bioheat (biodiesel blended fuel) and B100 biodiesel for home heating are gaining acceptance as clean burning fuels from renewable sources that can be used in an Oil Furnace.


Gas-Oil Furnaces - Like No Other

Biodiesel furnace While common applications were envisioned as replacement to gasoline and diesel in the areas of transportation, construction equipment and machinery, and small scale power generation, biodiesel is now attracting attention as a blended biodiesel home heating oil.

Commonly called BioHeat, the blended biodiesel fuel is now being offered for use in existing oil burning furnaces for home heating.

According to DOE, there are 107 million households in the United States. Of them, approximately 8.1 million use heating oil as their main heating fuel. Residential space heating is the primary use for heating oil. The demand is highly seasonal, with most of the heating fuel used during October through March. 82% of the demand for residential heating fuel comes from Northeast.

Several companies have started supplying BioHeat to their residential customers.

BioHeat Advantages: When biodiesel is used for blending or as a replacement to the conventional home heating oil, it offers several advantages, such as:

  • Made from vegetable oils, yellow grease, and animal fats, biodiesel is biodegradable.
  • Biodiesel Home Heating is carbon neutral since biodiesel comes from renewable sources and does not add CO2, a known contributor to the detrimental green house of effect, to our environment.
  • Biodiesel Home Heating means a cleaner burning fuel than the conventional oils. Biodiesel can be burnt in virtually all oil fired furnaces and boilers.
  • In an oil burning furnace, biodiesel can be blended with No. 2 fuel oil in any mix ratio, generally B5, B10, or B20.
  • Biodiesel creates 40%-60% less soot (safer for chimneys), and 100% reduction in SO2.
  • Reduces the amount of furnace cleaning

Biodiesel acts as a solvent which tends to dissolve sludge from the walls of the fuel tanks and clogs the fuel filter. However, once the initial cleansing occurs, replacement of the fuel filter often solves the problem of further clogging.


Biodiesel in Cold Weather Conditions: Biodiesel has a higher gelling point. As a result, to be usable in the furnace during cold weather conditions, the fuel needs to remain above the gelling point (38°F to 50°F) so that it flows well. If fuel storage tanks are outside and above ground, fuel protection against gelling is important.
Protection against fuel gelling - without Chemical Additives

Chemical additives with BioHeat or conventional home heating oil lower the gel point, but also reduce the heating efficiency in waste oil furnaces. Tank Fuel Heaters help protect heating oil from gelling without additives which can otherwise reduce the efficiency of an Oil Furnace.

Factors affecting sizing of Oil Burning Furnaces:

There are several factors that should be considered before selecting the right furnace for your facility or home heating. Factors for the so-called "sizing the facility" include but are not limited to:

  • Air Infiltration: For a used oil furnace to provided adequate heating, there should be none to little air infiltration from the outside. Drafts waste heat energy and in case the openings are large enough, no heating appliance would be able to adequately heat the facility.

  • Facility Configuration: It is more difficult to adequately heat a long and narrow building than a facility that has smaller sides that are more squared.

  • Height: Height of the ceiling affects the efficiency of a used oil and/or biodiesel furnace. Hot air is lighter and therefore rises to the ceiling. For ceilings more than 14 feet, it may become necessary to circulate heat using ceiling fans.

  • Insulation: Heat loss in a facility is caused by poor or no insulation. Where possible, added insulation should be applied to the ceilings and walls. In areas such as garage doors and other large openings from where significant amount of heat loss is evident, curtain walls will help reduce the heat loss. However, a correction factor for the heat loss should be taken in to consideration when the furnace is sized.

  • Suggestions: The size of a heating furnace should not be based on the amount of waste oil generated by the facility. Rather, it should be based on the factors stated above. Moreover, if the old used oil furnace is in a working condition, it can be left in its place as an auxiliary heating source to provide back up heat during extremely cold weather conditions.

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941.924.4321

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