The Pros and Cons of Kerosene

Advantages

More eco-friendly than other fossil fuels

When in its paraffin form, kerosene burns quite cleanly and produces far fewer fumes than other fossil fuels like oil or coal. Kerosene even produces fewer fumes than a simple log on a wood-burning fire.

Safe and carcinogen-free

Due to its cleanly during flame and lack of fumes, kerosene is safe to burn indoors, and won’t fill your home with harmful chemicals. This is why kerosene has been popularised as a home heating fuel. The fumes it produces also contain no recognised cancer-causing agents (carcinogens).

Versatile and modifiable

Kerosene is a versatile fuel available in a range of different variations suited to different uses. Some types of kerosene burn cleaner, hotter, or faster than others depending on its function. Kerosene is also a versatile substance in general, and has been used as both a cleaning agent and a pesticide.

Highly combustible but non explosive

Kerosene is highly combustible, making it an efficient fuel and incredibly easy to light. However, the low level of fumes it produces means it is not explosive, making it not well suited for use as road vehicle fuel, but perfect for heating homes. However, its low viscosity and low freezing point do suit it well for use as aerospace fuel.

Disadvantages

Contributes to greenhouse gasses and harmful emissions
Although kerosene is cleaner than most other fossil fuels, it is still an oil-based fuel and, as such, burning it does contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions, furthering the damaging effect of these emissions on our planet.

Very difficult to recycle

Like used oil, non-renewable oils like kerosene are very difficult to recycle and thus usually ends up disposed of. This makes its negative impact on the environment more pronounced as the fuel cannot be re-used to offset its emissions.

Subject to price fluctuations with the oil market

A huge host of social and market factors influence the price of oils, whether they’re heating oils like kerosene or petroleum fuels like petrol and diesel. Current markets, global geopolitics, supply and demand, and global events like the covid-19 pandemic all contribute to the fluctuations of price for kerosene.

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