Why Is Kerosene Such A Popular Fuel?

Kerosene is a reliable choice of fuel with a long history behind it and has been used for centuries. The real question is… what are we using it for?

Kerosene is amazingly versatile, and applicable to a range of uses. 1.2 million barrels of kerosene are used globally every day, which converts to 54 million gallons, or 246 million litres!

Some of the most common uses of fuels are:

Heating Oil: It is increasingly rare to find a large or industrial heater that uses kerosene. However, domestic kerosene heaters are still fairly common, these are typically found where blackouts and intense weather frequently occur. Kerosene heaters can be considered efficient as they don’t require any electricity to work. Although, some types of kerosene can produce more toxic fumes in homes than other cleaner forms.

Fuel for Light: Kerosene can be a really effective fuel for lighting and lamps. People who camp or live in rural surroundings prefer to use kerosene lamps due to just some of the following reasons:

  • Designed to be useful in extreme weather conditions
  • Longevity of the fuel
  • Can easily control the level of the flame and can control the flow of oxygen to the oil.
  • Ease of transportation

Aircraft/Jet Fuel: In recent years, Kerosene has been a preferred choice of fuel for use in aircraft such as rockets and jets. Kerosene-based jet fuel has numerous benefits when weighing up other options to other choices of fuel. An example being, that kerosene has an extremely low freezing point of -47°C, this means it is very suitable for aircraft, when sub-zero temperatures can occur during use of the jet/rocket. It has a low viscosity. This means it won’t thicken and clog up the engine when in use, and it is highly flammable, yet it has a low vapour level. This creates a perfect balance of a low explosion risk and power that is generated.

Performing Arts Industry: You may not think this is one of the most common uses of kerosene, but it is a common fuel to use within the entertainment industry! The low viscosity, lack of flammability vapour level, and its low explosiveness are the reasons why it is often chosen in fire-based entertainment productions.

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