12th October, 2021
Kerosene oil is a versatile fuel that has been around for generations. Despite this, it’s still a fuel that is often used and praised for its usefulness. Anyone who has a boiler will know about kerosene and you may have the option to switch to this fuel as you install a new boiler.
If you’ve been wondering just what makes kerosene so special, you are about to learn all about it.
Kerosene is also called paraffin or combustible oil. It’s essentially a flammable liquid that comes from crude oil. When the oil is refined through a process called “fractional distillation,” kerosene oil is produced. It’s a clear thin oil that remains, which may be mixed with paraffin, almost identical, to create a denser version of the fuel oil. The denser the fuel, the more mass can be stored in the same size tank and this gives you more fuel to use.
This fuel oil tends to be clear and is non-viscous, but it can be made into wax and other types of fuel that are thickened. This is part of its appeal, as it can be used for a variety of applications.
The first record of kerosene being made date back to the 9th century, yet it’s still a fuel that is used in around 1.5 million homes in the UK alone. A Persian scholar called Razi first wrote out the process of making kerosene and by the 12th century, it was a common lamp fuel in China. Later, this same fuel was used in Canada by Abraham Pineo Gesner, who figured out how to make it burn cleanly as a lamp fuel, something that had eluded previous experimenters.
Kerosene oil is used for dozens of purposes. It can be used as is for fuel, or it can be turned into another product, making it remarkably useful. Here are a few of the ways you can use it:
Heating: Perhaps the most commonly known use for kerosene oil is heating your home. It burns well in the boiler and provides heat for the entire home, as well as hot water.
Light: It’s not as common to burn kerosene as a lamp fuel now, but some people do still use it for this purpose. Others have it as a backup option for when the electricity goes out. If you have an old kerosene lamp, it can still be very useful.
Cleaner: Did you know that kerosene oil is an excellent cleanser for motorcycle and bicycle chains? It helps remove old lubricant quickly and easily, so you can apply new lubricant oil.
Barrier Fuel: When you have more than one type of fuel, you can add kerosene to the mix to separate the two. This allows you to pump the fuel through a hose without contaminating one fuel with the other.
Pesticide: Kerosene is rather dangerous for living things. It’s poisonous to ingest, of course, and even applying it to skin can cause illness or burns. This makes it an excellent pesticide. It will kill nearly any type of insect, including bed bugs and mosquito larvae.
Rocket Fuel: There’s a special type of kerosene called RP1 type kerosene fuel that is mixed with oxygen and used to power jet engines. It was used to send Saturn V into space and has been used in many other applications.
Fire Acts: If you’ve ever seen anyone juggle fire, spin fiery ropes or breathe fire, they’re likely using kerosene. This is not a very safe way to use the toxic oil, but it is certainly impressive.
As you can see, there are many uses for this versatile fuel, but is it better than other fuels?
For anyone who is not connected to the gas network, another method of heating must be used. This is usually heating oil or kerosene. However, just because it’s the main alternative doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent fuel source. There are many benefits to using it as your heating oil.
It Is Cost Effective
Kerosene oil tends to be rather low cost to produce, which translates to savings for you. If you compare fuels, you’ll likely find that this is the lowest cost option for heating your home. There may be lower prices at certain times of year, but the price of kerosene tends to be much steadier than that of heating oil.
It’s Very Efficient Heat
When you look at how efficient kerosene is, you can expect around 90% efficiency, while electricity is 31% efficient. Likewise, if you are measuring in heat output, kerosene offers a whopping 135,000 Btu per gallon, while propane only gives you 91,330 Btu per gallon. This means that kerosene is definitely the leader in fuel and heating efficiency.
It Is a Safer Fuel
Burning wood for heat can end up creating carbon monoxide, a deadly, unnoticeable gas that kills people every year. It has no smell and no colour, so it can sneak up on you and kill you in your sleep by eliminating the oxygen that is required in your body. Kerosene produces a minimal amount of carbon monoxide, making it much safer to use.
It Lights Easily
Kerosene is much easier to burn than many fuels and it tends to be safer, as well. The fumes from kerosene can explode when exposed to fire, but the fuel itself burns much slower than gasoline or other accelerants.
It Is More Eco-Friendly
While burning anything can be considered not very eco-friendly, this particular fuel burns quite clean. It doesn’t emit many fumes or smoke, so it is surprisingly better for the environment than most other types of fuel.
You Can Use It for Many Things
While you will most likely purchase kerosene oil as a heating fuel, you can also use it for other applications if need be. For example, you could cook with it in a kerosene stove, or use it in a lamp to light your home when the power isn’t available. See the previous section for more ideas on how to use this versatile fuel.
It Lasts for a Long Time
Kerosene, when stored correctly, can still be used 10 years after storing. Gasoline lasts around six months before it begins to thicken up and become unusable, so a decade of usability certainly makes a big difference. Kerosene can be stored in an oil-appropriate container in a temperature-controlled area, and it will last that long. The lifespan reduces somewhat if it is exposed to heat and cold.
Temperature Extremes Minimally Affect Kerosene Fuel
Heating oil can be difficult to use in extreme cold, as it turns to gel. This means you can’t pump it through the pipes to burn it and it essentially becomes useless. However, kerosene does not gel at cold temperatures and is functional in the heat, as well. Temperature changes may reduce its lifespan slightly but will not affect usability during that time.
A good heating oil company will give you the choice between heating oil and kerosene fuel, so you can opt for the safer, cleaner choice. However, not all oil companies provide this option. Before you order anything, ask around to find out if there is a kerosene oil option.
You may choose to search “oil delivery near me” and then talk to the companies that appear in the results. Another way to find a quality oil provider is to talk to people who have already used the company and are happy with them.
If you are looking for an oil company that will provide you with quality kerosene oil to burn for heat, contact D & S L Fuels. We have what you need and can deliver to your location.