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Kerosene vs Red Diesel – What’s the difference?

In our latest blog we’re looking at the red diesel ban and what it means for you. Kerosene vs red diesel, what’s the difference and implications for you?

The pandemic has caused a lot of upheaval when it comes to imports and exports. From the backlog at Calais to the blocked Suez Canal, disruption has reigned. Not only this, but all eyes were on Glasgow and the wider world for COP26 to see if changes could be made to help reverse the effects of climate change. With rising gas and electricity prices Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed in his 2022 Spring Statement that the fuel duty would be reduced by 5p per litre. For is just a drop in the ocean in these current challenging market conditions.

We also have the red diesel ban coming into force from the 1st April 2022. This is being imposed on many sectors to help reduce the impact of fossil fuels on the planet. Find out what the red diesel ban means for you and how kerosene is the better choice for your equipment.

What’s the difference between Kerosene and red diesel?

Diesel and kerosene are both petroleum fuels. They are extracted following oil refinery and are part of the molecular components of crude oil characterised by simple and complex hydrocarbon chains. What separates these components is the different boiling points.

Gas oil (also known as red diesel and 35-second oil) is generally used in commercial and agricultural settings.

Red diesel is used by many industries. This includes construction and agriculture, who use it in equipment and machinery like off-road vehicles due to its low duty rate. Since 1961 red diesel has had red dye added. This is intended to prevent illegal use of the low duty fuel in road-going vehicles which should use white diesel.

Compared to diesel, kerosene is less expensive. The former is subject to tax & duty due to its use in automobiles and other industrial machinery. However, kerosene is a lighter oil unsuitable for road vehicles. But, it rather suits home heating and cooling systems. This is because it benefits from cleaner burning and fewer carbon dioxide emissions.

What is legislation for these fuels?

In 2020 the UK government announced it would remove the entitlement to use red diesel for many sectors from the 1st April 2022. This will require many businesses to use fuel that is taxed at the standard rate for white diesel (aka taxed diesel used in road vehicles). This move was made to encourage users to switch to more sustainable fuels. However, the sectors that will remain eligible to use red diesel are agriculture, fish farming, forestry, railways, and non-commercial heating systems like places of worship or off-the-grid homes.

Disadvantages of red diesel

Red diesel accounts for around 15% of the diesel used in the UK and is responsible for around 134 million tonnes of CO2 released every year. Red diesel is a fossil fuel which releases a large number of greenhouse gas emissions when burnt.

Diesel, because of its greater viscosity than petrol, is cruder and messier making it much easier to spill and slower to evaporate once spilled. This means it is easier for dirt and dust to settle on any spillages. Diesel also emits dirty black smoke when used to run an engine, causing air pollution and making it unpleasant to breathe if used in a poorly ventilated place.

Advantages of kerosene

When looking at kerosene vs red diesel, kerosene has clear advantages. Firstly, it has a low risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Secondly, it burns very cleanly, making it one of the safest fuels available. Not only this, it produces fewer fumes in its paraffin form (compared to coal and wood

Kerosene also has a long shelf life as it’s non-corrosive, so as long as it is stored correctly e.g. kept dry and under controlled conditions, it can last a long time. Kerosene is also cheaper than diesel & gas as it’s economical to produce and has incredibly cheap prices.

Why kerosene is the fuel of choice

As outlined, kerosene is a non-corrosive, less volatile fuel compared to red diesel and gasoline. This means that compared to red diesel, kerosene won’t cause wear and tear on boiler components. As well as this, kerosene systems will not output any dirty, black soot filled smoke or emit strong odour if used and stored correctly.

Kerosene has a high efficiency rate. This means more heat is released per unit volume than that of alternate fuels like gas or electricity. Couple this with it’s affordability and safety, it’s no wonder why here at Rhinowash it’s our current fuel of choice.

Want to find out more about what Rhinowash Pressure Washers can do for you? Get in touch today with our knowledgeable and friendly team who will be happy to discuss your requirements in detail. Call us now on 0333 207 9274.


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