Whether you are a seasoned trucker or a regular motorist when it’s time to fuel up, you have probably noticed how diesel fuel is on an entirely different pump at the gas station. This is just one example of the many ways that diesel fuel is completely different from gasoline. Read on to learn more about what diesel fuel is and how it works.
The first difference between diesel and gasoline is what it’s made of. Diesel fuel is the byproduct of distilling crude oil. It is a dense hydrocarbon compound with a high boiling point and, therefore, a low evaporation point. All of this means that diesel fuel is a combustible material, and it isn’t flammable in the same way gasoline is. If you were to look at a container of diesel next to gasoline you probably wouldn’t notice a clear difference in consistency. But the way diesel is made greatly affects how it functions.
Because of the nature of diesel fuel, it cannot work in a gasoline engine and vice versa. Diesel fuel works with combustion, meaning that it operates through heat and pressure. By comparison, gasoline works when vaporized and ignited with a spark plug, essentially making a controlled explosion to move a piston in a cylinder. Diesel fuel is injected directly into the cylinder instead of within the diesel engine, which can sustain the pressure needed to combust the fuel. That’s why it would be terrible to put diesel into a regular car since it would essentially clog up the engine.
With all this said, you might wonder what is the purpose of diesel fuel. The combustion power of diesel fuel can generate a lot of power, and it has high fuel efficiency. This is why large commercial vehicles have diesel engines. If these same vehicles were forced to run on regular gas engines, the expenses would be astronomical. And in a diesel engine with the aid of something called a glow plug which provides an additional heat source, the diesel fuel can run very efficiently even in colder weather.
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