Diesel And Heating Fuel: Is There Any Difference?

Very often people do not distinguish between the terms “diesel fuel” and “heating fuel”, considering them to be identical. But is it really so?  Let’s try to understand.  We offer three criteria for comparison: consumer, economic and industrial.

In terms of consumption, there is a fundamental difference between heating fuel and diesel fuel.  Heating oil is typically used for independent heating of private houses, as well as a heat carrier for household and industrial furnaces.  Perhaps this is the only area of application for such fuel.  Therefore it is hard to escape the obvious conclusion that the range of use of heating fuel is narrower than diesel fuel.

Regarding heating fuel production, diesel oil cut of straight-run distillation must be used to obtain it.  The fractional composition of freshly obtained heating fuel is somewhat heavier and it has high viscosity.  In the process of its production there are no strict limitations for some indicators: cetane number and iodine number, as well as its cloud point.  At the same time, the values of all important parameters of diesel fuel are always standardized by the current standards of the fuel and energy sector.  Therefore, their production requires “finer” tuning of equipment used for distillation of petroleum products.

Well, this is where we smoothly approach the price issue.  The average difference in furnace fuel and diesel fuel price is about 30-40%.  Diesel oil is more expensive mainly because of the wider field of application.  Often the question arises: Can diesel fuel be used instead of furnace fuel and vice versa?  Theoretically it is possible, but it all depends on how you are going to use this oil product.  Each application has its own peculiarities that must be considered.

It should be noted that the similarity of furnace fuel and diesel fuel is often used by dishonest dealers. Indeed, some types of diesel engines may be operated with furnace fuel, but this does not mean that it can fully replace diesel fuel.  In order to avoid sales of cheaper product posing as more expensive one, furnace fuel is supplemented with special red dyes and chemicals (furfural and diphenylamine) which make it easy to distinguish furnace fuel from diesel fuel, intended for use in respective engines.

Another pressing question: Is it possible to improve the quality of heating and diesel fuel?  The answer is a definite “yes”.  Very often, during long-term storage, oil can oxidize due to contact with atmospheric oxygen.  Contamination can also accumulate in the oil.  This changes the natural color of the fuel, which draws attention of the buyer in the first place.  Application of GlobeCore UVR plants allows for clarification of furnace and diesel fuel, as well as removal of aromatics, water and solids that are extrinsic for this class of petroleum products.  The process of purification with this plant allows removal of hydrogen sulfide compounds, reduction of sulfur concentration, lowering of wax content, removal of unsaturated hydrocarbons.  After processing with GlobeCore equipment, the fuel does not oxidize nor darken again.



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