Q: What is Diesel Gas?

December 17, 2013 12:53 PM

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Conventional vehicles typically operate on one of two types of fuel: gasoline or diesel fuel. Diesel gas is used frequently for powering vehicles such as trucks and boats. Diesel is comprised of a mixture of crude oil components known as hydrocarbons. Due to the benefits it offers, diesel has a wide array of applications ranging from fueling public transportation vehicles, delivery vehicles, and 18-wheelers to powering watercraft and many off-road vehicles.

Although diesel is typically used for the same purposes as gasoline, one of the most important distinctions between the two types of fuel is that diesel burns differently than gasoline. As a result, a different type of engine is needed for diesel to work properly. While gasoline engines use a spark plug to ignite the fuel and air mixture, a diesel engine uses compressed air for ignition purposes.

Recent alternative fuel source developments have resulted in the production of biodiesel. Unlike traditional diesel gas, biodiesel is not fossil-fuel based. Instead, it is a vegetable oil derivative. Compared to traditional diesel fuel, biodiesel burns cleaner and is able to dissolve dirt and other debris in fuel lines.

There are various types of diesel fuel currently available on the market, each being comprised of various blend ratios. The ratios often depend upon the purpose of the fuel, the temperature where the fuel will be used, and local governmental regulations. One of the most stringent concerns regarding the production of diesel fuel is the use of sulfur, which can result in dangerous emissions when the fuel is burned. As a result, most of the diesel fuel used in the United States is ULSD, or ultra-low sulfur diesel, from which most of the sulfur has been removed to reduce harmful emissions.

Diesel offers a number of advantages over gasoline. First and foremost, diesel-powered vehicles are usually more economical than those running on gasoline. This increased fuel economy is the result of an overall higher energy content and efficiency. Additionally, modern diesel engines can be regarded as more environmentally friendly because of its low additive content, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions. In comparison to gasoline, diesel is denser and less flammable and volatile. As a result, diesel gas is usually more efficient, particularly in regards to heavy loads. This is why diesel is often the fuel of choice for a truck.

While diesel gas offers numerous advantages over regular gasoline, it should be kept in mind that not all vehicles are designed to operate on diesel fuel.

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