Gasoline vs Kerosene vs Diesel
We all are aware of products like gasoline, kerosene and diesel and use them in our daily lives but if one were to be asked specific differences between these three important energy products that provide us with fuel to get energy for various purposes, not many would come up with exact answer. Though all three are used as fuels, they have differences in terms of chemical and physical properties which will be explained in this article to help people understand these petroleum products in a better manner.
If you do not know, the crude oil that is pumped out of oil rigs, also known as petroleum is black in color and contains many types of hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are compounds made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These hydrocarbons can be simple or complex depending upon the number of carbon atoms linked together to make up a hydrocarbon. Hydrocarbons having different number of carbon chains have different physical and chemical properties. Simplest of hydrocarbons is methane which has single carbon atom attached to 4 hydrogen atoms (CH4). This is a very light gas in comparison to longer chains of hydrocarbons where the number of carbon atoms is more.
The first 4 hydrocarbons, CH4, C2H6, C3H8, and C4H10, are all gases. The chains containing up to C18 are all liquids and chains containing C19 or more are all solids at room temperature. Coming back to the differences between gasoline, kerosene, and diesel, the real difference lies in their boiling points which are different. This is how the three petroleum products are separated by heating crude oil to different temperatures. Different hydrocarbon chains are separated and pulled out depending upon their boiling pints. Up to C7, hydrocarbons are light liquids called napthas that are easily separated. These are used as dry cleaning agents and also as paint solvents.
Differences Between Gasoline and Kerosene and Diesel
The hydrocarbon chain from C7 to C11 is blended together to make gasoline. All of them vaporize below boiling point of water and are easily collected. Having low boiling point, gasoline evaporates quickly if you spill it on the ground. Higher hydrocarbons, from C12 to C15, which are also heavier, make up kerosene, while diesel is obtained from still higher hydrocarbons.
Thus it is clear that all three, gasoline, kerosene, and diesel are obtained from the same crude oil and the real difference lies in the length of hydrocarbon chains that they are made up of. While gasoline is yellowish in color, kerosene is colorless but made blue to distinguish with gasoline. Diesel on the other hand is reddish in color and is also greasier. Of the three, gasoline has a loud smell and also evaporates more quickly than kerosene and diesel.