Niagara Gazette

Columns

December 12, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: The ins and outs of diesel fuel

Niagara Gazette — A few weeks back I wrote an article on the major differences between gas and diesel vehicles entitled “Diesel 101.” This week, in my ongoing effort to educate you on diesel vehicles I will cover the topic of the fuel such vehicles use ... Diesel fuel! Read on.

Diesel fuel energy density and rating at the pump

When crude oil is processed at refineries, it is separated into several different kinds of fuel. At U.S. refineries in 2012, a 42-gallon barrel of oil typically delivered 19 gallons of gasoline, 11 gallons of diesel fuel, and lesser quantities of jet fuel, home heating oil, kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas and other distillates. Diesel fuel produced for vehicle use is sometimes called “diesel oil” or No. 2 diesel. Kerosene, which is chemically similar but more highly refined and less viscous, may also be referred to as No. 1 diesel.

Diesel fuel is heavier and oilier than gasoline, and it supports compression ignition with an auto ignition temperature (the temperature at which a substance will burn without exposure to an external flame or spark) of just 410° F compared to 536° F for gasoline. Diesel fuel also has a higher energy density than gasoline. One gallon of diesel contains approximately 17.6 percent more energy – 147,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) compared to 125,000 BTUs for gasoline. This additional fuel energy is one of several reasons that diesel engines get better fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts.

Diesel fuel is normally sold in a single grade whose quality is identified by a cetane number that expresses the fuel’s ability to ignite when sprayed into hot compressed air. Higher cetane diesel fuel typically provides smoother operation and a reduction in engine noise. On-road diesel fuel in the U.S. must have a minimum cetane number of 40, although most pump diesel is in the 42 to 45 range. “Premium” diesel fuels with higher cetane numbers and a variety of special additives are sold in some markets. Diesel fuel in California typically has a higher cetane number due to some unique fuel blending requirements in that state.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Assessing Islander's accidental fame When Islander go ashore, we know how to behave, most of us. Now Wikipedia can add one Kara Dudley to its roster of notable Islanders, definitively a woman of her times.

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Imperfect information and the political toilet seat Sometimes, in the multiple choices of life, the answer is quite simply 'E', "Not enough information to draw a conclusion."

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Moreland panel comes back to haunt Cuomo Let's get this straight. That was Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at the microphone in the Syracuse radio station, Dec. 4, 2013, explaining the need for reactivating the anti-corruption panel called the Moreland Commission. "The commission clearly has the legal authority to look at anything they want to look at, including the governor, the attorney-general, the comptroller, etc.," the governor told the listening audience.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Immigration issue belongs to everyone I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up my digital edition of the Washington Post yesterday and found something that I think captures part of the dilemma America faces right this minute; it's a simple question: Who are we, or to put it another way, what do we really stand for?

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug new CONFER: It's time the U.S. stopped giving aid to Israel When you see some of the atrocities that Israel has committed in Gaza, including last week's bombing of a United Nations school that was being used as a civilian emergency shelter, you should really wonder why we count them as an ally and why we devote so much of our financial and political resources to the scoundrels.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: A cupcake gets the Niagara Beautification Commission spotlight Not a cupcake per se, but a cute shop in LaSalle operated by a "sweet" lady who is a real dynamo when it comes to running a business.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug [Duplicate] GLYNN: A key factor in luring the convention A natural wonder in the nation's oldest state park isn't the lone factor for selecting Niagara Falls as a convention site.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Regional poetry and sad realities If that isn't (or wasn't) poetry, I don't know what is! I'm referring to the self-satisfied, sluggish trot of ice chunks emanating from Lake Erie in early May 2014 -- sauntering, it felt, along the lovely Niagara.

    July 27, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Quest for an appointment comes up short We're rolling up our sleeves for Quest. The Big Mac of blood tests, the Tops of tourniquets, the Sears of screenings, opens on our Island at Monday's crack of dawn.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Davis, Vincent mug VINCENT DAVIS: Pledge your allegiance to the Slurpee, America's treat By now you must be aware that it is, in fact, summer. And since summer is a season not characterized by any obvious weather events (sometimes it's hot for days in a row, sometimes you get a bunch of rainy days and chilly nights) but instead activities, I'd like to bring attention to an underrated staple of summer sun enjoyment: Consuming the brain freeze-inducing snack classic, the Slurpee.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page