Heavy Fuel Oil: Considerations on Use

Heavy Fuel Oil

Winter brings the need to heat buildings. Natural gas and diesel fuel are relatively expensive to use as heat sources, so people more and more look at alternatives. This is a good time to discuss heavy fuel oil. The main advantage of this product is ease of storage and transportation.

Heavy fuel oil is made from straight run diesel and secondary distillation fractions (distillates of catalytic and thermal cracking and coking). Fuel oil is somewhat heavier than diesel. Regulations such as iodine and cetane number, as well as cloud point are not mandatory for heavy fuel oil. If the product is made from sour crude, sulfur content may reach 1.1%.

Here are the main operational properties of heavy fuel oil:

  • ash – below 0.02%;
  • settling point below -5ºС;
  • flashpoint 45ºС;
  • color – colorless, black;
  • density– not regulated. This does not have to be measured.

So as to improve the low temperature properties of the product, special additives are used, which are synthesized from ethylene and vinyl acetate copolymers.

Heavy fuel oil is mostly sold for household heating.

The advantages of heavy fuel oil are:

  • high calorific value with low consumption rate;
  • price lower than traditional energy sources;
  • low settling point and low viscosity.



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