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Kerosene vs. Diesel: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on December 23, 2023
Kerosene is a lighter fuel oil used for heating and jet engines, while diesel is a heavier fuel used in engines for higher torque and efficiency.

Key Differences

Kerosene, a light petroleum distillate, is primarily used for heating, lighting, and jet fuel. Diesel, a denser fuel, is used for powering diesel engines, known for their efficiency and torque.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023
In terms of chemical composition, kerosene consists of hydrocarbons containing 12 to 15 carbon atoms per molecule. Diesel, on the other hand, is composed of hydrocarbons that have 16 to 20 carbon atoms per molecule, making it a heavier fuel.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023
Kerosene has a lower boiling point and less density compared to diesel, which contributes to its distinct uses such as in aviation and domestic heating. Diesel, with its higher boiling point and density, is optimized for use in diesel engines, providing higher energy per gallon.
Huma Saeed
Dec 23, 2023
The ignition properties differ: kerosene is typically ignited by a wick or a spark in jet engines, while diesel engines compress the fuel until it spontaneously ignites, needing no spark.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023
Safety and storage considerations for kerosene include its relatively lower flash point compared to diesel, necessitating careful handling. Diesel, while less volatile, still requires proper storage to prevent contamination and degradation.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Heating, lighting, jet engines
Diesel engines for vehicles
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Chemical Composition

C12-C15 hydrocarbons
C16-C20 hydrocarbons
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Boiling Point and Density

Lower boiling point, less dense
Higher boiling point, more dense
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Ignition Properties

Ignited by wick or spark
Self-ignites under high pressure
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

Safety and Storage

Lower flash point, volatile
Less volatile, prone to contamination
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023
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Kerosene and Diesel Definitions

Kerosene

Kerosene is used in lamps and stoves in areas without electricity.
They used a kerosene stove for cooking during the power outage.
Harlon Moss
Dec 02, 2023

Diesel

Diesel is produced from the fractional distillation of crude oil.
The refinery increased its diesel production to meet demand.
Harlon Moss
Dec 02, 2023

Kerosene

Kerosene is derived from refining petroleum.
The refinery produces kerosene along with other petroleum products.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Diesel

Diesel fuel offers high energy efficiency for transportation.
Many buses use diesel due to its efficiency and low-cost maintenance.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 02, 2023

Kerosene

Kerosene is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid used as fuel.
The lantern was filled with kerosene to provide light.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 02, 2023

Diesel

Diesel is a heavy fuel oil used in diesel engines.
The truck's diesel engine was known for its reliability and power.
Huma Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Kerosene

Kerosene is used as jet fuel due to its high energy output.
Commercial jets are often powered by kerosene-based fuels.
Harlon Moss
Dec 02, 2023

Diesel

Diesel is used in generators for electricity production.
During the blackout, the diesel generator provided essential power.
Janet White
Dec 02, 2023

Kerosene

Kerosene is a heating oil for domestic and industrial use.
The furnace uses kerosene to heat the warehouse.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 02, 2023

Diesel

Diesel engines are known for their high torque output.
The diesel-powered tractor easily towed the heavy load.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 02, 2023

Kerosene

A thin oil distilled from petroleum or shale oil, used as a fuel for heating and cooking, in lamps, and as a denaturant for alcohol. Also called coal oil.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Diesel

A diesel engine.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Kerosene

A thin colorless to straw-colored petroleum-based fuel heavier than gasoline/petrol or naptha but lighter than diesel, used primarily as jet fuel but also for heating and lighting in some remote or impoverished areas.
The kerosene lasted all winter, so the furnace kept us always warm.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Diesel

A vehicle powered by a diesel engine.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Kerosene

An oil used for illuminating purposes, formerly obtained from the distillation of mineral wax, bituminous shale, etc., and hence called also coal oil. It is now produced in immense quantities, chiefly by the distillation and purification of petroleum. It consists chiefly of several hydrocarbons of the methane series, having from 10 to 16 carbon atoms in each molecule, and having a higher boiling point (175 - 325° C) than gasoline or the petroleum ethers, and a lower boling point than the oils.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Kerosene

A flammable hydrocarbon oil used as fuel in lamps and heaters
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

FAQs

What are the main uses of kerosene?

Kerosene is used for heating, in kerosene lamps, and as jet fuel.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

How is kerosene produced?

Kerosene is produced by refining crude oil, specifically through distillation.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023

Is kerosene safe for indoor use?

Kerosene can be used indoors with proper ventilation, as it emits harmful fumes.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023

What is the energy content of diesel fuel?

Diesel has a higher energy content per gallon compared to gasoline and kerosene.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

What is diesel?

Diesel is a heavy petroleum distillate used primarily in diesel engines.
Huma Saeed
Dec 23, 2023

Can kerosene be used in diesel engines?

Kerosene can be used in diesel engines with modifications, but it's not typical.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

What is kerosene?

Kerosene is a light petroleum distillate used as fuel in heating, lighting, and aviation.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

What are diesel engines?

Diesel engines are internal combustion engines that use diesel fuel for higher efficiency and torque.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023

How does diesel fuel impact the environment?

Diesel fuel can contribute to air pollution but is often less so than gasoline.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

Are diesel engines more efficient than gasoline engines?

Yes, diesel engines are generally more efficient and provide more torque than gasoline engines.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

What are the disadvantages of diesel engines?

Diesel engines can be noisier and produce more particulate emissions than gasoline engines.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

How is diesel fuel produced?

Diesel is obtained from the fractional distillation of crude oil.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023

What is the flash point of kerosene?

Kerosene has a lower flash point than diesel, making it more flammable.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Is diesel fuel biodegradable?

Diesel is not readily biodegradable and can be harmful to the environment if spilled.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Can kerosene lamps be used for emergency lighting?

Yes, kerosene lamps are often used for emergency lighting.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

Are there alternative fuels to diesel for engines?

Yes, alternatives include biodiesel, natural gas, and electricity.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

How is kerosene stored safely?

Kerosene should be stored in well-ventilated areas and in approved containers.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

How does diesel fuel affect engine longevity?

Diesel engines often have a longer lifespan due to their robust construction.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023

Is kerosene more expensive than diesel?

The price of kerosene and diesel varies, but kerosene is often more expensive due to its uses in aviation.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Is kerosene used in cold climates?

Yes, kerosene is often used for heating in cold climates.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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