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Diesel Fuel 101

4 things to know about on-road and off-road diesel.

commercial diesel fuel Hartford county, ct In many ways, diesel is the driver of economies across the globe. Manufacturing, construction, agriculture — these and many other sectors depend on diesel. Goods cannot make it long distances without diesel-fueled fleets to carry them.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg with this vital, in-demand fuel. For over 30 years, Homestead Comfort has delivered diesel fuel to businesses in Tolland, Ellington, Storrs and other places in eastern Connecticut. Here are four essential things you should know about diesel fuel.

1. The differences between diesel and gasoline

Diesel and gasoline are both distillates of crude oil, but they come from different hydrocarbons that are separated from crude during the refining process. As such, they have different uses and physical properties. Diesel is denser and doesn’t evaporate into the air like gasoline. It also generates about 10 to 20 percent more energy in combustion than gas, which accounts for better mileage in diesel engines.

Gasoline also has a shorter shelf life than diesel. Gasoline will start deteriorating after three to six months. Diesel is good for a year or more.

2. How diesel works in engines.

Diesel is far less flammable than gasoline. If you were to drop a lit match into a pail of diesel fuel, it would extinguish like you’d dropped it in water.

Whereas gasoline will combust in a car engine with a spark, diesel requires intense pressure to create high temperatures and ignite. That’s what the piston of a diesel engine does.

3. The difference between on-road and off-road diesel.

Essentially, there is no physical difference between on-road and off-road diesel. The difference is in how they are used and taxed.

On-road diesel is undyed. It’s sold at gas stations and is subject to a federal motor fuel excise tax plus state taxes for road fuels. This makes it generally much pricier than off-road diesel.

Off-road diesel is used in various vehicles and equipment related to agriculture, construction and other industrial fields. It is dyed red and cannot be purchased from a gas station. Off-road diesel is not subject to the same taxes as road diesel. If you’re found using off-road diesel in a road vehicle, you can face fines.

4. Diesel’s environmental impact.

Beginning with new Environmental Protection Agency regulations in 2006, diesel’s sulfur content has been reduced to 15 parts per million or less. Ultra-low sulfur diesel is better for the environment and reduces wear and tear on engines.

We’re seeing more and more biodiesel and renewable diesel, which can be blended with traditional diesel or, in some cases, used as a drop-in replacement. These fuels come from sustainable feedstocks and have a significantly lower carbon intensity.

Trust Homestead Comfort for your diesel needs.

Homestead Comfort supplies diesel fuel to farms, construction sites, paving companies, municipalities and vehicle fleets. We know how stressful it can be to line up at a pump and track receipts for reimbursement. When you partner with us, we’ll handle all the planning so you can focus on keeping your business running.

Let’s connect to discuss your diesel fuel needs. Reach out to Homestead Comfort today.