The Diesel Truck Site  

Go Back   The Diesel Truck Site > Diesel Truck Forums > General Diesel Forum > General Diesel Tech Articles

Welcome to the forum!
When you register you will have access to our "Downloads" section and our "Lounge" forums!

Register Forum Rules FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-05-2011, 10:14 PM
Mopar1973Man's Avatar
Mopar1973Man Mopar1973Man is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: New Meadows, Idaho
Posts: 902
Default BTU Content of Common fuels

This is just average BTU's of each fuel of course every manufacture of fuel will have a slightly different value.

Conventional Fuels (Per Gallon)
#2 Diesel Fuel (40 Cetane) ------- 133K BTUs
#2 Diesel Fuel (45 Cetane) ------- 129K BTUs
#1 Diesel Fuel (53 Cetane) ------- 126K BTUs

Conventional gasoline ------------ 120K BTUs

Typical alternate fuels (Per Gallon)
Propane ------------------------- 84K BTU's
Ethanol ------------------------- 76K BTU's
Methanol ------------------------57K BTU's

Common Fuel Additive Chemicals (Per pound)
Mineral Spirits ------------------- 19K BTU's
Xylene -------------------------- 19K BTU's
Benzene ------------------------ 18K BTU's
Acetylene ----------------------- 21K BTU's
Naphthalene -------------------- 17K BTU's
Naptha -------------------------- 15K BTU's

ASTM Labs Grading Scale for Diesel Fuels

Now take notice the more you increase the cetane of any diesel fuel the more your reducing the BTU content of the fuel. Now I've be told "But all the racing diesel fuel is 55 cetane." This is true but remember in all racing your turning the crank so fast and you need a fuel that capable of burning even faster than normal to keep up with the 4K - 5K crank revs. A low cetane fuel at that point would not be capable of burning fast enough and the power would be lost. But now for day driver truck that see typical 1-2K revs don't need the high cetane fuel but actually the lower cetane fuel that contains more BTU's that will give you more MPG's.

But yes you can use any fuel information against the scale above and see what the characteristics are like of any diesel fuel. You just need the Gravity API and the distilling temp and where the two line cross is the cetane and viscosity of the fuel. As for where the distilling line goes across will show you the cloud point of the fuel.

Like looking at the conventional gasoline and ethanol take notice that ethanol fuels have much lower BTU content so it would take more ethanol to travel the same distance at conventional gasoline. Same holds true for diesel fuel look at the #1 diesel and then #2 diesel we all complain about winter fuels taking its toll on MPG for at least 2-3 MPG well that simple because there just isn't the BTU content to do the work for ya.

Right out of the ASTM test labs...

There is no benefit to using a higher cetane number fuel than is specified by the engine's manufacturer. The ASTM Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils (D-975) states, "The cetane number requirements depend on engine design, size, nature of speed and load variations, and on starting and atmospheric conditions. Increase in cetane number over values actually required does not materially improve engine performance. Accordingly, the cetane number specified should be as low as possible to insure maximum fuel availability." This quote underscores the importance of matching engine cetane requirements with fuel cetane number!
Michael Nelson - AKA: Mopar1973Man - Forum & Articles
2002 Dodge Ram 2500, 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel, 5 Speed NV4500 transmission, 4x4, 3.55 Gears, AirDog 150 fuel pump with 1/2" Big Line Kit, Stock Bosch VP44 Injection Pump, Bosch RV275 Injectors +40HP, Edge Comp Performance Box, BHAF (Big Honkin' Air Filter), Stock Holset HX35W Turbo, Straight 3" Pipe Exhaust, Crankcase Vent Mod, High Idle Mod, MPG / IAT fooler Mod, ScanGauge II, 25% Tinted Windows, DiPricol Gauges (Fuel pressure, Boost, Pyrometer), 235/85 R16 tires mounted on 16x7 Aluminum mags (weighing 62#), Custom Fog Lights, Custom Backup lights, Silverstar Headlights, 23-24 MPG

1996 Dodge Ram 1500, 5.9L Magnum V8 Gasoline Engine, 46RE Automatic Transmission, 4WD with CAD axle with 3.55 Gears, Mopar Performance PCM, Gutted Kitty, ScanGauge II, 35% Tinted Windows, 16-17 MPG

Last edited by Mopar1973Man; 06-05-2011 at 10:38 PM.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:45 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Skin & Style Created By: Mopar1973Man.Com
Copyright 2012 Diesel Truck Site