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13 Kerosene Facts You Need To Know

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At Crown Oil, kerosene is one of our most popular fuels thanks to its versatility and combustive properties. Let’s take an in-depth look at the fuel and all the reasons why it’s relied on by businesses and homes across the UK.

What is kerosene?

Kerosene is a hydrocarbon fuel produced from the fractional distillation of petroleum after it’s been refined from crude oil. It has a low viscosity with a density of 0.78 – 0.81 g/cm3 and contains between 10 and 16 carbon atoms per molecule.

Some circles, such as the scientific community, spell the fuel as ‘kerosine’ but it also has a variety of names, including paraffin oil, burning oil, heating oil and 28-second oil.

The term ‘28-second oil’ is used as a term to distinguish kerosene’s viscosity, through a specific test of how long it takes 50ml of the oil to drip into a beaker. This also explains how red diesel gets its ‘35-second’ name.

In the diagram below, we can see how this oil can be distilled from petroleum. Fractional distillation works by heating a mixture (petroleum) and vaporising its component parts. Kerosene is separated from petroleum at a temperature of between 150 and 275 °C. For more information about this process, we’ve explained everything about gas oil here:

fractionating column

A brief history of kerosene

While oil has been extracted from crude oil for centuries, the term ‘kerosene’ has been in use since the mid-19th century, when it was registered as a trademark in the US by Canadian geologist Abraham Pineo Gesner in 1854 as a lamp oil that was extracted from coal.

In 1851, American inventor, Samuel Martin Kier, developed the process of distilling crude oil and sold the resulting distillate as ‘carbon oil’. As a result of discovering how to distil crude oil, Kier is known as the grandfather of the American oil industry.

Uses of kerosene

From humble beginnings as a fuel for oil lamps, today kerosene is used primarily for heating and as a transport fuel, mostly as jet engine fuel. However, all over the world, there are many inventive uses of the oil that make it an essential part of life, including:

But in addition to this, it is used for:

This is because of kerosene oil’s low flame temperature, making it the safest choice for performers, should they come into contact with the flames.

However, when you’re not breathing flames, there are other little-known uses for the oil, including as a cleaning agent to remove:

Adhesive, such as the impossible to clean stuff left by stickers
Candle wax
Other petroleum products, such as grease
Thinning oil paints (used in fine art)

Why use kerosene?

At Crown Oil, we supply kerosene to businesses and homes, mostly for heating and fuel purposes, from 205-litre barrels up to 36,000 litres and more. Jugglers are also welcome to buy by the barrel too – that’s a whole lot of juggling!

With several alternatives to consider for heating your home and workplace, what are the benefits of choosing kerosene?

High efficiency – more heat is released per unit volume of kerosene than for alternative fuels, such as gas or electricity
Affordability – low prices of the fuel make it one of the cheapest ways to heat your home or workplace
Safety – the heating oil boasts a clean burn, with low carbon monoxide emissions

Why choose Crown Oil?

If you’re looking to buy kerosene, there a multitude of options to Crown Oil for your heating oil needs:

Environmentally friendly – with options such as Kleenburn Kerosene, premium kerosene and bulk buying options, Crown Oil works hard to have as little an impact on the environment as possible
Free fuel management – never run out of fuel with our team monitoring your usage and providing top-ups as required
Flexible payment terms for businesses – allowing you to pay in the way that suits your budget and schedule

UK coverage – Crown Oil has depots all over the UK, so wherever you need your fuel, we can get it to you
Standard 24 to 48-hour delivery – saves you from unwanted downtime. We can even deliver within a few hours, thanks to our 24/7 emergency fuel service
Cost effective – Crown Oil can offer you attractive kerosene prices thanks to our ability to buy in bulk

If you need a reliable kerosene supplier, choose Crown Oil and call our team today on 0845 313 0845 to see how we can help.

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