Five key facts about Diesel
- 03 June 2016
Diesel – where did it come from? How is it different? Why is a turbo-diesel car better? Here are the five key facts everyone should know about diesel – as a fuel and as an engine.
All you ever wanted to know about your favourite fuel
- First, some definitions. Diesel, Petrol, Gasoline (shortened to ‘gas’ in the USA, but is what we call petrol), Petroleum – are all derivatives of the same thing: Crude Oil. The way these fuels are refined and mixed with other chemicals is what makes them different. Petrol consists mostly of aliphatic hydrocarbons and is enhanced with tolulene, benzene or iso-octane. Diesel is a fractional distillate of crude oil. Petrol is more volatile than diesel, due partly to the additives mixed in the petrol. Diesel is heavier and more viscous (thicker) than petrol. Petrol can evaporate, while Diesel doesn’t. There are three main types of diesel – petrodiesel (most commonly used), synthetic diesel and biodiesel.
- Never put petrol in a diesel engine car. It’s difficult to put diesel into a petrol-engine car because of the nozzle design of the fuel pumps and the fuel tank design of today’s cars. But it IS possible to fill a diesel car with petrol and there are some big consequences. Not only will the engine not work, but you will need to flush the entire fuel system and perhaps even replace damaged parts, which brings us neatly to the next key fact – the diesel engine.
- Diesel fuel gets its name from the diesel engine – which is named after its German inventor, Rudolf Diesel who invented the diesel engine in 1893. Following its invention, the diesel engine quickly overtook steam engines due to its efficiency, and played a pivotal role in the industrial revolution, powering trains, ships, factories and even power stations.
- Diesel fuel is the most widely used fuel in the world. Diesel fuel is widely used by every mode of transport – rail, sea, air and road – across every conceivable industry (the automotive industry is the exception). Farming uses diesel-powered tractors and combine harvesters, Mining uses super-sized diesel-powered dump trucks and excavators and every boat on the water, from the world’s biggest cruise liners and container ships to jet skis use diesel fuel.
- Mercedes-Benz was the first car manufacturer to use a diesel engine, in its iconic 260D in 1936. Along with Mercedes-Benz, VW was the only other car manufacturer to use diesel engines – until the 1990s. It took the widespread use of the turbo-diesel engine to really set diesel-powered engines on the path to popularity that they now enjoy. Turbocharger technology was invented way back in the 1920s, but for turbochargers to be used successfully in cars involved a lot of improvements to other engine components that took decades.
Turbo-diesel engines continue to get better and better and are more popular than ever, due largely to their efficiency. Turbo-diesel cars now account for over 50% of new car registrations in Europe. In Australia, over the five-year period from 2010, the number of turbo-diesel cars increased by 96.4%!
Whatever your diesel fuel needs, Bulk Fuel Australia has the capability to meet them. Our Australia-wide fleet is ready to service your on-site refuelling requirements, bulk diesel fuel delivery and storage - and we have an extensive range of fully compliant tank and fuel cube storage options for rent or purchase. Call us today for a competitive price and superior customer service 1300 57 9990.