Letter Re: Can I Burn Home Heating Oil or Kerosene in a Diesel Engine?

I hope all is well. I noted your reply to this blog post: Letter Re: Can I Burn Home Heating Oil or Kerosene in a Diesel Engine?

You mention that home heating oil is nearly identical to diesel fuel. Three additional clarifications may be useful for your readers. The first is that depending on your locale and type of heating system, “home heating
oil” (HHO) may refer to a blend of different fuel oils, some of which may not be suitable for internal combustion. If you plan on using HHO in a diesel engine, ensure that it is Number 2 fuel oil.

Secondly, petrodiesel sold in the U.S. for use on roads is ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) (<15ppm), but some marine and off road diesel is still low sulfur diesel LSD (<500 ppm). Number 2 fuel oil (home heating oil) can contain up to 1,500 ppm of sulphur. This is important because diesel engines newer than 2010 (and some as early as 2007) can experience damage to their emission control systems with higher sulphur content.

Last, most HHO is treated with anti-smoke and antimicrobial agents, as is petrodiesel, but not always. Check with your oil provider to verify that it is. Otherwise, microbes which feed on the oil can clog your fuel filters, injectors, etc. If your fuel oil lacks antifungal and antibacterial agents, this can be easily remedied by adding an aftermarket biocide (e.g. Bio-Kleen).

In closing, I will note that one solution to this issue is to fill your home oil tank with 15 ppm off road diesel. It will burn perfectly fine to heat your home or business, and costs only a penny or two more than traditional Number 2 home heating oil per gallon. In the event of a disaster, you can have a ready supply of hundreds of gallons of fuel for your diesel engine.

Thanks for SurvivalBlog and God Bless. – Mountaintop