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Diesel fuel

  1. Jan 30, 2008 #1
    hello, my name is Jesse and I'm new to the forums. I'm in 10th grade chemistry and i have a question.

    what is the chemical formula of diesel fuel? i searched it on google and found something about hydrocarbon and i have no idea what this is. please help
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2008 #2


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    The various grades of fuels are manufactured largely based upon their boiling points. A fraction boiling between one temperature and another will be given the name 'gasoline' or 'kerosene' or 'diesel'. For diesel fuel the standard boiling ranges are found in ASTM D-86 and D-2887. The chemistry of the mixture boiling in that range is complex and ever-changing. Recently, the sulfur content of diesel sold in america has been greatly reduced. There are Clean Diesel regulations that require lower amounts of a component known as 'polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons' (PAH) as well.
  4. Feb 7, 2008 #3
    I am in no way an expert on gasoline or diesel, but from my understanding both are a mixture of many different ingredients, so I don't know if there is necessarilly a single chemicle formula for either. One way to approach it would be to find some of the major ingredients that go into diesel, and find the chemicle formulas for those seperate ingredients.
  5. Mar 9, 2008 #4
    Petrol and diesel are both mixtures of hydrocarbons. Petrol consists mainly of C7H18 and C8H18 heptane and octane. Premium petrol that you can buy from garages/petrol stations contains higher percentage of octane; ocatne releases more energy during conbustion. Diesel is a mixture of hydrcarbons with boiling points around 160C the hydrocarbons around this area are about C10H20 - C14H26. Don't regard this as being 100% correct but it should help give a general idea.
  6. Mar 9, 2008 #5


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    The primary difference between the "grades" of gasoline is what pressure ratio they can handle without knocking. If you have a car that doesn't need it, there is no benefit to higher octane gas.
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