Flashpoint refers to the temperature at which a flammable liquid vaporizes, or is able to ignite. For example, the flashpoint of combustible liquids is under 104°F. The lower the flashpoint temperature, the easier it is to ignite the fuel when an ignition source is present. The higher the flashpoint, the safer the liquid is, though. Although gasoline and diesel are both combustible fuels, their flashpoints vary.
The flashpoint of gasoline
Gasoline’s flashpoint is at about -49°F (or -45 °C). Depending upon the composition of the fuel and other conditions, this can vary slightly. But, this fuel is reliable as a combustible fuel and easier to ignite than other fuels, like kerosene. This is why it has been used to power vehicles for decades.
The flashpoint of diesel fuel
Diesel’s flashpoint can vary depending upon the type of diesel being used. The most common type, known as #2, has a flashpoint of around 125°F to 180°F. It is important to remember that these numbers can change (for any fuel) based on the air and pressure around the liquid.
How does flashpoint relate to ignition within engines?
The concept of how fuels work within engines is relatively similar no matter what type of engine is being used. Fuels are ignited within a combustion chamber, resulting in an upward motion in the engine’s pistons. This moves the crankshaft and puts force on the wheels to move.
The difference between gasoline and diesel is in how the fuels ignite. Gasoline requires a spark plug as an ignition source to catch within the combustion chamber. Diesel engines use heat from compression to ignite the fuel instead of a spark.
Flashpoints and safety
Anyone working within the oil and gas industry should keep safety in mind at all times. Understanding the flashpoints of both gasoline and diesel, as well as how these liquids ignite, will help keep you and your co-works safe. Diesel is safer to be around when it comes to explosion risk, but all types of fuels come with their own risks.
Are you looking for high-quality gasoline or diesel fuel?
At Kendrick Oil Company, we provide fuel-related Services and Products including fuel delivery, tank monitoring, 24-hour dispatch, and an online customer portal. We serve clients throughout Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Louisiana. You can reach us by calling (800) 299-3991 to learn more.