What is Kerosene?

 Is Kerosene and Home Heating Oil the same thing?

Kerosene is a very popular fuel which is used widely throughout the UK and is known by many different names including; Paraffin, ’28 Sec Oil’, Home Heating Oil and Boiler Juice.

Up until the time electricity was invented Kerosene has been used since the early 1800’s primarily to power paraffin lamps, and was first recorded selling commercially in the 1850’s, hence the nick-name ‘Paraffin Oil’. It is also referred to as ’28 sec’ oil, which describes the rate of flow of kerosene – taking a total of 28 seconds to drop through an aperture (aperture being an opening of a container). In essence this is a measurement of the viscosity (viscosity meaning how thin or thick a liquid is).

Its primary uses within the UK are as a means to fuel central heating systems within domestic, commercial and agricultural properties alike, as well as to fuel vehicles & equipment (used agriculturally & commercially).

Being one of the lighter fuels created through the fractional distillation of petroleum (the controlled heating of crude oil), a relatively slow and clean burn with a high heat output can be achieved. This makes it ideal for use in heating systems as well as being one of the more environmentally friendly fuels, depending on usage and what heating systems are being used.

Efficiency of use would depend on the type of boiler system being used, for example some old systems using kerosene may only be able to utilise 80% of heat towards warming a property, as opposed to most modern boiler systems which can now achieve up to 95% efficiency ratings. You can also achieve higher burning efficiencies from mixing certain chemicals to your Kerosene known as ‘Additives’ or ‘Fuel Treatments’.

Another popular use of Kerosene is to sustain jet powered aircraft used within the international air-travel industry. So next time you see a plane fly over your head take a few seconds to think that It’s being powered by the very same Kerosene powering your central heating at home.

A lot of you are properly thinking, why is Kerosene called Kerosene?

The word Kerosene has been around many years and it’s because the name is derived from Greek: κηρός(keros) which translates to wax. The waxy substance that was initially retrieved from the distillation process would have been enough to give its maker this name.

To find out more about Kerosene and to see how it could work as a fuel for your central heating feel free to call us!