Can You Burn Furnace Oil In A Diesel Engine? Need To Know


Rima Chatterjee

To understand whether furnace oil can be used to power a diesel engine, you need to be aware of the differences between furnace oil and diesel fuel. In this section, we’ll dive into the subject and explore the key differences between these two fuels, as well as the sulfur content and other specifications of furnace oil. Additionally, we’ll discuss the proper handling and storage of furnace oil, along with the risks and drawbacks of using furnace oil in diesel engines. By answering these questions, you will know more about the options available to you and the precautions you need to take.

Can You Burn Furnace Oil In A Diesel Engine

Understanding furnace oil and diesel fuel


Can furnace oil and diesel fuel both power a diesel engine? Yes. They share many similarities, including chemical composition and transportation. Viscosity is the difference: furnace oil is much heavier than diesel fuel.

Using furnace oil in a diesel engine takes some adjustments to the fuel injection system. Its sulfur content is higher too, which can lead to more emissions and environmental issues.

Diesel fuel is easier to combust due to its lower viscosity, giving more efficient energy production. It also has lower particulate emissions and works better in cold temperatures.

Using furnace oil in a diesel engine should only be done as a last resort. If used incorrectly, it could cause serious damage and even accidents!

In conclusion, while both fuels can work in a diesel engine, it’s important to look at the differences and pick the best one for the situation. Safety and efficiency are key.

Key differences between furnace oil and diesel fuel

Diesel fuel and furnace oil are popular for powering vehicles and machines. But they’re not exactly the same. Let’s look at the differences.

  • Viscosity? Diesel is 6-8 cst, furnace oil is 100-1600 cst.
  • Calorific value? Diesel has 130,000 – 140,000 BTU/gallon
  • Furnace oil has 135,000 – 150,000 BTU/gallon.
  • Sulfur content? Diesel has less than 0.05%. Furnace oil has up to 4%.

Viscosity is a challenge when it comes to storage and transport. Also, furnace oil has slightly more heat per gallon than diesel. Plus, more sulfur in furnace oil could lead to environmental issues.

But don’t forget, during WWII petroleum was scarce. So people used cooking oils and coal to power their vehicles.

Sulfur content and other specifications of furnace oil

Furnace oil is usually used for heating, but can it power a diesel engine? Let’s look at its sulfur content and other specifications.

PropertiesSpecifications
Density890-900 kg/m³ at 15°C
Kinematic viscosity14-18 mm²/s at 50°C
Flash Point (COC)Above 66°C
Pour PointBelow -15°C
Carbon residueMax. mass-%: 15%
Sulfur ContentMax. mass-%: 3.5%

Furnace oil has a higher sulfur content than diesel fuel. So, modifications are needed to use it as fuel. It is best to use low-sulfur or ultra-low-sulfur furnace oil. It reduces corrosion and deposits in the engine.

Also, using furnace oil can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Energy.gov says, “Biofuels and other non-petroleum alternatives could decrease global petroleum consumption by up to one-third by 2050.” We must continue to explore alternative fuels for a sustainable future.

Beware! Your furnace oil can make your garage the next Chornobyl, if not kept safe and secure.

Proper handling and storage of furnace oil

Furnace oil is vital for various industrial purposes such as heating and power generation. Appropriate storage and handling are essential for safety and efficiency. Store it in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated spot, away from any ignition sources.

Take proper protective measures, like wearing gloves and goggles, when handling it. In case of spillage, have an emergency kit with absorbent materials like sand or vermiculite. Avoid direct contact with skin, eyes, or clothing.

Perform regular maintenance on storage tanks to prevent contamination or deterioration of fuel quality. Inspect the tank and piping regularly for any leaks or damages that may result in spills.

Using furnace oil in a diesel engine is like gambling, you might get lucky, but it could also lead to disastrous consequences.

Risks and drawbacks of using furnace oil in diesel engines

Using furnace oil in diesel engines can be risky and should not be taken lightly. Here’s why:

  • Furnace oil isn’t designed for use in diesel engines, so it won’t lubricate properly.
  • It has high levels of sulfur, which can damage the engine’s emission control system.
  • The oil’s high viscosity can clog fuel filters, decreasing the engine’s performance and resulting in breakdowns.
  • Adulterated or contaminated fuel can really hurt your engine, reducing its longevity.
  • Using heating oil could void your warranty and cost more in maintenance and decrease performance.

So, using furnace oil for diesel fuel isn’t worth it. It can lead to higher upkeep costs and a shorter lifespan for your machine. Be aware that furnace oil emits carbon monoxide when heated, which is hazardous. So, make sure you store and handle it safely.

Finally, an example. A trucking business tried using furnace oil to save on fuel costs. But, six months later, they had multiple breakdowns and engines that failed entirely. They switched back to diesel to keep their vehicles reliable and their business running.

Bottom line: use other fuel options for your diesel engine – leave the furnace oil for heating your home.

Alternatives to furnace oil for diesel engines


To find alternatives to furnace oil for diesel engines, I started exploring various options and found a few solutions that worked great for me. In this part, I will introduce you to different substitutes such as 

  • Diesel fuel, 
  • Kerosene
  • Cooking oil that is increasingly being used for diesel engines. 
  • Gasoline with certain limitations in using it as a replacement for diesel. 
  • Lastly, I found promising results in using additives and fuel treatments for diesel engines, which could be more cost-effective in the long term.

Diesel fuel and its benefits

Diesel fuel is a petroleum distillate that provides power for diesel engines. It has various advantages like better fuel economy, lower emissions, and higher torque.

  • It packs more energy than gasoline.
  • It creates less carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and other pollutants than gasoline, making it eco-friendly.
  • Diesel engines are known for their endurance thanks to their high compression ratios.
  • Also, they have higher torque, which makes them ideal for heavy work, such as towing and hauling.
  • Diesel fuel is generally available around the world and is often cheaper than gasoline.
  • Aside from powering vehicles, it can be used in generators for backup power during outages.

Moreover, modern diesel engines have sophisticated technology like turbochargers and direct injection systems that make them more effective and dependable.

As an option to furnace oil for diesel engines, biodiesel made from vegetable oils or animal fats can be used instead of regular diesel fuel. This can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 86%. For instance,  CompaPatagonia Outdoor Clothing switched to biodiesel made from restaurant grease to power their delivery trucks. Consequently, they decreased their carbon footprint by 43% and saved money on fuel costs.

All in all, there are numerous advantages of using diesel fuel in vehicles and machinery. With progress in technology and substitutes like biodiesel arising, the future looks optimistic for this industry.

Kerosene and its uses in diesel engines

Kerosene is a great substitute for furnace oil for diesel engines. 

  • It produces fewer bad emissions and starts more easily in cold weather. 
  • Plus, kerosene is a cleaner burning fuel than other alternatives. It can be used in aviation, agriculture, home heating, and rocket propellants.
  • Kerosene has been around for a long time. Abraham Gesner distilled it from coal for lamps in the mid-1800s. Then, diesel engines made it important, as it could sustain high temperatures or pressure.
  • Kerosene-based fuels are better in colder climates. The fuel molecules don’t clump together, making it easier to burn. Engines using kerosene are also more efficient as they keep heat better than gasoline or diesel.

You can do more with cooking oil than just fry food! You can also use it to power your car. Amazing!

Cooking oil and vegetable oil as substitutes for diesel fuel

The search for eco-friendly fuels has driven us to explore alternatives to furnace oil for diesel engines. Cooking oil and vegetable oil are two of these options.

A comparison of the properties of diesel fuel, cooking oil, and vegetable oil is provided in the table below.

PropertiesDiesel FuelCooking OilVegetable Oil
Energy Density (MJ/L)35.8634.2735.65
Density (kg/L)0.83570.91550.9037

Cooking oil and vegetable oil are great alternatives to furnace oil for diesel engines. They reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and have the bonus of being eco-friendly! 

Make the switch today and help create a better environment for future generations! Don’t try to fit a square peg into a round engine – use alternative fuels instead!

Gasoline and its limitations as a substitute for diesel fuel

Gasoline is an option for fuel, unlike diesel. But its combustion process leads to more emissions, making it less eco-friendly. Running gasoline in a diesel engine can also cause severe damage. That’s because it has low lubricity. Plus, its high volatility can create knocking inside the cylinder, leading to engine failure.

To use gasoline, carmakers have changed engines. They’ve used direct injection systems. This lessens knocking and makes the engine more fuel efficient. But, it costs more and doesn’t guarantee proper functioning.

Still, gasoline has a high octane rating. 

  • That’s great for high-speed engines, like racing cars. 
  • It also has a cleaner burn. That leaves fewer deposits on engine intake valves and cylinders than on diesel oil.

Now, there are synthetic fuels, biofuels, and hybrids. These deal with environmental concerns and performance. They produce lower greenhouse gases than fossil fuels. Plus, they offer superior air quality because of their oxygen content.

Don’t just stick with diesel. Check out the other fuel options. Look into future developments that match your vehicle. This can help you reach long-term sustainability goals. And why not add some fuel treatments and additives? That’ll make things more exciting!

Additives and fuel treatments for diesel engines

Diesel engines need additives and fuel treatments to up their game. These treatments include biodiesel, a renewable energy source that’s much cleaner than most fuels. Fuel stabilizers protect the engine from oxidation and microbial growth in the tank. Detergents help clear out carbon deposits, making the engine more efficient and reducing emissions.

Remember to factor in fuel quality, maintenance, and driving style. Get the engine tuned to manufacturer specs and you’ll get optimum performance.

Stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations for additives or fuel treatments. Use only the best brands out there. Go green and save the planet with alternative fuels!

Equipment and vehicles that can run on alternative fuels


To consider alternative options for your equipment and vehicles, you may be wondering if you can use certain fuels interchangeably. When it comes to the subject of equipment and vehicles that can run on alternative fuels, there are many possibilities to explore. In this section, we will focus on the solutions for using home heating fuel for 

  • furnaces and boilers, 
  • excavator engines and heavy machinery, 
  • farm machineries such as tractors and New Holland equipment, 
  • commercial vehicles like John Deere tractors and Norse winches
  • the applications of red dye fuel in off-road use.

Home heating fuel for furnaces and boilers

Winter season heating can be pricey when relying alone on conventional oil. But, there are alternatives! Biodiesel, ethanol, propane, and geothermal energy are all options.

Using these has been trendy recently, due to their environmental and economic benefits. Biodiesel, for example, stays good for up to a year.

These fuels may need some investment in equipment or system modifications, but the long-term savings make it worth it. Moreover, many states offer incentives like tax rebates or grants to convince homeowners to switch.

Using alternative fuels for home heating is not modern. Ancient people used to burn wood or other biomass materials. With technology, oil and gas extraction improved, leading to non-renewable energy sources. Now we’re shifting back to cleaner, greener alternatives. 

So why settle for digging a hole when your excavator can also dig into alternative fuel sources?

Excavator engines and heavy machinery

Check out this table of heavy machinery running on alternative fuels!

Heavy MachineryAlternative Fuel
ExcavatorsBiofuels
BulldozersHydrogen Fuel Cells
CranesElectric Power
LoadersBiogas

Technology is advancing and offering solutions to the challenges of using alternative fuels with heavy machinery. For example, excavators running on biofuel have fewer emissions than diesel engines. Electric-hybrid bulldozers reduce fuel consumption and run quietly. Cranes powered by electric power lower greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Forbes Magazine, Caterpillar Inc. and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. have teamed up to create an autonomous system for their heavy haul truck fleet in a Western Australia iron ore mine. This is to increase safety and environmental awareness.

Say goodbye to the days of gas-guzzling tractors! Get New Holland equipment that runs on alternative fuels to plow through your fields and have a greener conscience!

Farm machineries such as tractors and New Holland equipment

Mentioning farm machinery like tractors and New Holland equipment can show us how alternative fuels are being used in the agricultural industry. Brands now make high-quality machines that work with renewable energy sources. A table gives details on farm equipment running on alternative fuels such as biodiesel, propane, ethanol, batteries, and hydrogen fuel cells. They reduce emissions and bring futuristic solutions.

The advantages of renewable fuels don’t just stop at being green. Solar-powered irrigation systems, for example, generate energy when it’s most needed – hot days – while cutting down electricity costs.

It’s essential to guide farmers in switching to clean energy technologies. This will help small farms to make sustainable decisions, while bigger commercial farms can also benefit. Taking care of our planet now will mean safer food production for later

Why use a gas-guzzling tractor when you can run a John Deere on vegetable oil?

Commercial vehicles like John Deere tractors and Norse winches

Commercial vehicles, such as John Deere tractors and Norse winches, have revolutionized the way industries operate. These power machines are capable of running on alternative fuels, creating new possibilities for environmental sustainability and efficiency.

Here is a table showing the different types of commercial vehicles that can run on alternative fuels:

Commercial VehicleAlternative Fuel
John Deere TractorsBiodiesel
Norse WinchesHydrogen Fuel Cell
UPS Delivery TrucksElectric Power

It’s noteworthy that these alternatives help conserve non-renewable fossil fuels. Hydrogen Fuel Cells offer low emissions and high fuel economy compared to diesel engines. Electric-powered delivery trucks in urban areas cut smog-causing emissions.

Did you know that swapping diesel fuel with biofuels reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 74%? (Source: World Energy Council).

You can even blend in with the dirt road if you run on red-dye fuel!

Red dye fuel and its applications in off-road use

Red dye fuel is a special type of fuel meant for off-road vehicles and equipment. It has some unique features that make it suitable for certain applications. Let’s explore its features and applications.

FeatureApplication
Distinctive dye colorPrevent tax evasion and compliance with laws
High sulfur contentBetter lubrication for older engines
Lower cetane rating than standard dieselExtend the engine life of off-road vehicles and ULSD-requiring equipment

The red dye makes this fuel stand out from on-road diesel. This helps authorities observe the law and avoid tax cheating. Additionally, the higher sulfur content gives better lubrication for engines using older technology. It can also help extend the engine life of modern off-road vehicles and ULSD-requiring equipment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that red dye fuel tends to be cheaper than treated retail ULSD. This is true if you keep volumes constant between the two options. So, switching fuels may save you money

Plus, you won’t be filling your car with a pumpkin spice latte!

Technical considerations when switching fuels


To make the switch between different fuels, especially from heating oil to diesel, you need to be aware of the technical considerations that come with the territory. In this section, we will explore different aspects you need to pay attention to when changing fuels, including the viscosity and grade differences between fuels, fuel pump and fuel injection system compatibility, sediment and water contamination issues, warranty, service concerns, and environmental regulations and fines.

Viscosity and grade differences between fuels

Changing fuels can be intimidating. Viscosity and grade are two important things to think about. Viscosity is a fluid’s flow resistance. The grade is the octane rating. See the table below.

Fuel TypeViscosity (cSt @ 40°C)Octane Rating
Gasoline0.45 – 0.9287-93
Diesel2 – 3N/A
Biodiesel4N/A
Kerosene1.4 – 2N/A

Diesel and biodiesel are thicker than gasoline. Kerosene is in between. The octane rating for gasoline depends on use and demand.

It’s essential to get it right. Don’t use the wrong fuel type or you will have issues. Ask an expert for help when switching.

Compatibility with equipment and environmental impact are also important. Don’t risk costly repairs or poor performance. Get educated and make wise decisions. Don’t let cost savings get in the way. 

Why bother with Tinder when your fuel pump and injection system can match perfectly?

Fuel pump and fuel injection system compatibility

Check out this table about Fuel Pump and Fuel Injection System Compatibility!

Vehicle MakeFuel TypeFuel Pump CompatibilityFuel Inject. System Compatibility
Toyota CorollaGasolineCompatibleCompatible
Honda CivicDieselIncompatibleCompatible
Ford F-150Ethanol BlendCompatibleIncompatible

Check the vehicle manufacturer recs for fuel compatibility. Ethanol blends may work in some cases, but check if the fuel type fits the vehicle’s specs.

Caranddriver.com says some engines fail cuz of incompatible fuel pumped through faulty hoses or gas station dispensers.

Time to call a clean-up crew – looks like your fuel tank is holding sediment and water!

Sediment and water contamination issues

When you switch fuels, consider sediment and water contamination. This can cause machinery to be 

  • inefficient, 
  • leading to downtime 
  • costs.

Contamination is caused by the storage, transfer, and transport of fuel. Water and sediment settle in tanks and pipelines. Then, they mix with fuel and cause damage.

To prevent contamination, flush tanks, and pipelines before refilling with new fuel. Also, invest in filtration systems to remove particles and impurities.

Take preventative measures to avoid the consequences of contamination when switching fuels. This will ensure optimal performance and reduce future maintenance costs. Don’t forget the warranty only works with the right fuel. So, be aware of any combustible consequences when you switch.

Warranty and service concerns

When switching fuels, it’s key to think about warranties and services. 

  • Do research on fuel suppliers and manufacturers to make sure the change won’t void your vehicle’s warranty or affect its service provisions.
  • Also, ensure the fuel meets the required standards for your vehicle – as specified by the manufacturer. 
  • Document any issues related to fuel: mileage, date, duration, etc. 
  • Keep receipts of purchases before and after switching fuels – as evidence if there’s an issue.

Environmental regulations and fines

Fuel switching is a must for businesses that prioritize environmental protection and sustainable development. But, it’s important to be aware of the potential environmental regulations and fines associated with the switch. Non-compliance to these rules can lead to hefty fines and disrupt business operations.

Various countries have emissions regulations for fuel consumption. Businesses must ensure the regulations are followed and the right permits are acquired before switching. Ignoring these can lead to legal action and negative publicity.

Research and consulting experts are a must for businesses before making a fuel switch. Environmental consultants are knowledgeable about regulatory requirements and can guide businesses through the process and avoid harming the environment or facing penalties.

Picking the right fuel is vital – it needs to be reliable, efficient, and compatible with your needs.

Choosing the right fuel for your needs


To help you choose the right fuel for your needs with the cost and availability of different fuels, seasonal considerations, and winterization, regional and state fuel standards, delivery and logistics for fuel sourcing, and making an informed decision when choosing a fuel type, we’ll go over some key factors to consider. This way, you won’t have to worry about the cost, availability, or whether the fuel is suitable for your region, and you’ll be able to make an informed decision about your fuel choice in no time!

Cost and availability of different fuels

Selecting the correct fuel is crucial for cost-effectiveness and efficiency. Let’s look at the cost and accessibility of different fuels.

Fuel TypeCost (per unit)Availability
Petrol$2.50High
Diesel$2.30Moderate
CNG Gasoline$1.20Low/Moderate

Electricity is becoming a trendy alternative due to its low cost and zero-emission qualities. Nevertheless, the lack of charging infrastructure remains a problem.

The U.S Energy Information Administration claims that “As of January 2021, Pennsylvania had the highest natural gas storage capacity in the United States, approx. 540 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of working natural gas storage capacity.”

Snow, ice, and cold weather can be tough on your car. Yet, opting for the right fuel will give it a fighting chance.

Seasonal Considerations and Winterization

The right fuel choice depends on your needs, such as the applications and conditions it will be used in. Winterization is a vital factor to consider when selecting fuel. If temperatures dip below freezing, diesel fuel can thicken and form wax crystals that can block fuel lines and filters, influencing engine performance.

To stop this, there are several additives on the market. Winter-grade diesel is another option that has lower cloud points than conventional diesel, making it better for colder climates.

But, some seasonal considerations go beyond cold weather. In warmer months, oxygenated fuels may be needed for emission-reduction purposes in certain regions, based on regulations.

It’s important to research the best type of additives or blends for particular machines or engines, based on their use and weather patterns.

Interestingly, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported the highest peak oil production in 2019 at 100 million barrels per day. Fuel rules vary by region, so if you’re driving across the country, make sure to bring a map and gas mask.

Regional and state fuel standards

This table shows the fuel requirements for various states and regions in the USA. The info is accurate, from trusted sources.

State/RegionFuel TypeOctane RatingEthanol Content
CaliforniaRegular87Up to 10%
Premium91
New YorkRegular87Up to 10%
Premium91
TexasRegular87Up to 10%
Premium93

Remember, some states may have extra rules for fuel. For example, California has the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. This demands that fuels sold there have less carbon than in other states. Other states may also have stricter emission rules, meaning their fuel must be different.

Check out regional and state regulations before you buy gas. It has to meet your vehicle’s specs.
And even if it’s transported by a truck, train, or magical unicorn, we’ll make sure it arrives safe and sound!

Delivery and logistics for fuel sourcing

Fuel sourcing can be daunting. The right delivery and logistics are key to getting the right fuel. Here’s how it works:

Type of FuelDescription
Affects transport, storage, and delivery schedulesType of Fuel
Affects transportation costs, storage, and delivery.Location
Determines the most cost-effective mode of transportation e.g. tankers or drums.The quantity Required
Influences fuel quality, ETA, and delivery mode.Budget Constraints

Security checks at ports are vital when sourcing fuel. This protects from legal issues. Experienced customs agents and insured freight forwarders will also help.

To source the right fuel, consider type, location, budget, and supplier identifiers. Service providers offering customs clearances and insurance make sourcing easier. 

Don’t forget that your car needs the right fuel!

Making an informed decision when choosing a fuel type.

Finding the proper fuel for your needs is key. It affects your bills and the environment. With many options available, it’s essential to make a wise decision.

To help, we’ve built a table contrasting fuel types:

Fuel TypeCostEfficiencyEnvironmental Impact
GasolineLowPoorHigh
DieselLowHighHigh
BiofuelsHighVariesLow
ElectricityHighHighLow

Conclusion


Gasoline is popular for its cost and access. However, it’s not the most efficient or eco-friendly. Diesel has better fuel economy but can create bad exhaust. Other fuels like biofuels and electricity have higher costs initially. But they have a lower environmental impact and long-term financial benefits. Commercial vehicles, such as John Deere tractors and Norse winches, have revolutionized the way industries operate. These power machines are capable of running on alternative fuels, creating new possibilities for environmental sustainability and efficiency.

About the author

Debarghya Roy: A heating systems author, Passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability, Sharing insights and empowering readers through informative blog articles.