Crestview Chrysler Polled on Knowledge of Different Fuel Types
Recently, we asked fans of our Crestview Chrysler Facebook page if they knew the difference between gasoline, kerosene, and diesel fuel types. Most drivers know that gasoline, probably the most common fuel for consumer vehicles, is derived from crude oil. What many people don’t know is that kerosene and diesel come from crude oil as well, or what these two fuels are commonly used for.
Getting Energy From Crude Oil
Though there are some vehicles that run on battery-powered electric motors, most vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine that needs a fuel source. When the fuel is ignited, it releases its stored energy, driving the necessary components to make the engine go.
But where does this energy come from? Most of the energy on Earth starts with the sun. Crude oil, or petroleum, is the result of plant matter, typically plankton and algae, being put under intense heat and pressure. While living, these plant life forms converted sunlight into chemical energy which is then stored. Thus when we burn petroleum, that energy is released and turned into mechanical energy in our engines.
Petroleum can be distilled into different, more useful components. These different components have different boiling points, making separating them a simple process of heating and capturing, much like distilling alcohol. The components of gasoline have the lowest boiling points, followed by kerosene, then diesel.
Gasoline has many uses besides being used in automobile engines. It is used in smaller engines like lawnmowers, and is also a component of many jet fuels. During the mid-nineteenth century, kerosene was used in many vehicles because it was a cheaper alternative to gasoline. Today, it’s used primarily for heating and lighting. Diesel is used in large vehicles, but also in smaller cars because it’s a more fuel-efficient than gasoline.
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