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Tuesday, 21 December 2010 09:28

Diesel Fuel

Diesel fuel in general is any liquid fuel used in diesel engines. The most common is a specific fractional distillate of petroleum fuel oil, but alternatives that are not derived from petroleum, such as biodiesel, biomass to liquid (BTL) or gas to liquid (GTL) diesel, are increasingly being developed and adopted. To distinguish these types, petroleum-derived diesel is increasingly called petrodiesel. Ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) is a standard for defining diesel fuel with substantially lowered sulfur contents. As of 2007, almost every diesel fuel available in America and Europe is the ULSD type. In the UK, diesel is commonly abbreviated DERV, standing for Diesel Engined Road Vehicle (fuel).

Diesel Engines

Diesel engines are a type of internal combustion engine. Rudolf Diesel originally designed the diesel engine to use coal dust as a fuel. He also experimented with various oils, including some vegetable oils, such as peanut oil, which was used to power the engines which he exhibited at the 1900 Paris Exposition and the 1911 World's Fair in Paris.


Petroleum diesel, also called petrodiesel, or fossil diesel is produced from the fractional distillation of crude oil between 200 °C (392 °F) and 350 °C (662 °F) at atmospheric pressure, resulting in a mixture of carbon chains that typically contain between 8 and 21 carbon atoms per molecule.


Fuel value and price

Further information: Gasoline and diesel usage and pricing

As of 2010 the density of petroleum diesel is about 0.832 kg/l (6.943 lb/US gal), about 12% more than ethanol free petrol (gasoline), which has a density of about 0.745 kg/l (6.217 lb/US gal). About 86.1% of the fuel mass is carbon and when burned, it offers a net heating value of 43.1 MJ/kg as opposed to 43.2 MJ/kg for gasoline. However, due to the higher density, diesel offers a higher volumetric energy density at 35.86 MJ/l (128 700 BTU/US gal) vs. 32.18 MJ/l (115 500 BTU/US gal) for gasoline, some 11% higher, something that should be considered when comparing the fuel efficiency by volume. The CO2 emissions from diesel are 73.25 g/MJ, just slightly lower than for gasoline at 73.38 g/MJ. Diesel is generally simpler to refine from petroleum than gasoline and contains hydrocarbons having a boiling point in the range of 180-360°C (360-680°F). The price of diesel traditionally rises during colder months as demand for heating oil rises, which is refined in much the same way. Because of recent changes in fuel quality regulations, additional refining is required to remove sulfur which contributes to a sometimes higher cost. In many parts of the United States and throughout the United Kingdom and Australia diesel may be higher priced than petrol. Reasons for higher priced diesel include the shutdown of some refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, diversion of mass refining capacity to gasoline production, and a recent transfer to ULSD, which causes infrastructural complications. In Sweden a diesel fuel designated as MK-1 (class 1 environmental diesel) is also being sold, this is a ultra low sulphur diesel that also have a lower aromatics content, with a limit of 5%. This fuel is slightly more expensive to produce than regular ultra low sulphur diesel. (wikipedia)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 December 2010 09:59
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