What Is Distillate Fuel?


Quick Answer

Distillate fuel is a petroleum fraction typically obtained through a conventional distillation process. It includes diesel fuels, which are normally used by diesel engines in cars and trucks, and fuel oils, which are used for space heating and to generate electric power.

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Full Answer

Distillate fuel products are labeled as No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4. No. 1 diesel fuel has a distillation temperature of 550 degrees Fahrenheit and is used in vehicles that have high-speed diesel engines. The distillation temperature of No. 2 diesel fuel is 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While its use is nearly identical to No. 1., No. 1 fuel oil is generally used in portable stoves and heaters, while No. 2 fuel oil is reserved for industrial burner units that have moderate capacities.

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