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Old 04-01-2019, 02:40 PM   #1
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Furnace Oil as Diesel Fuel?

Can home heating Furnace Oil be used as a fuel substitute for use in marine diesel engines?

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Old 04-01-2019, 03:21 PM   #2
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Diesel and No 2 heating oil have different specs. Some refineries make only one grade for both as it is possible to meet both sets of specs with one product. But it does take more refining to do that so some make two different products with different specs.

Some of the important specs for diesel are cetane number and lubricity. If the source (a refinery) of the No 2 oil you buy from makes different products you may not be getting the proper specs for your engine.


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Old 04-01-2019, 03:34 PM   #3
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Back in my refinery days diesel and furnace oil were made to the same specs but the additive packages were very different. An example is the Anti Static Additive that was added to the diesel. I don't know if that was or is the practise elsewhere.
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:44 PM   #4
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I asked my fuel distributor (NC) the very same question. He stated that both furnace oil (#2 fuel oil) and diesel fuel were the same at his company. All came from the same tank.

Not all companies do the same, I'd figure. Up north where a lot of #2 fuel is used it may be cost effective to keep them separate.
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:20 PM   #5
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The use to be 3 grades of diesel 1, 2, and 3. Only heavy duty Cats and some older engines could use #3. #1 was the same as home heating oil and used by most fishermen for their diesel stove. It burned hotter and made less soot. You can burn #1 in most engines w/o problems. If you're somewhere there's a pier a fuel truck can drive on, you can buy diesel cheaper than most marinas. Usually needs to be several hundred gallons for the truck to come. Now there's MDO - Marine Diesel Oil that's burned in large ship engines. It's about 1/2 price of #2, but I don't think many small engines could run it.
I've burned home heating oil and #2 without noticing a difference except in the stove. MDO needs to be preheated.
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:53 PM   #6
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Diesel #1, Jet A, JP8 are very similar, slightly different additives. Diesel #2, JP4, Jet B and Stove oil are also very similar with different additives. I have run all of the above fuels in our Alloette III helicopter over the years with no performance issues. This is not to say that any uneducated person can substitute these fuels at will. You might not live long if you fill your heli up with diesel #2 and fly to 10,000 feet. Like wise your boat engine will show premature wear if all you do is run Jet A. However, in most cases you can operate any Diesel engine on any of the above fuels.

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diesel, ford lehman, fuel

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