Statistics Canada reported in 2002 that diesel fuel accounted for just 23% of all fuels sold in Canada. Gasoline, BTEX and propane provided the remainder. If so little in comparison to other fuels was sold, why do we choose it?

The Net Heat of Combustion or energy content between gasoline and diesel fuel seems very close to me, 32.2 MJ/L for gasoline and 36.4 MJ/L. If you compare that to the Net Heat of Combustion of propane at 24.1 MJ/L as a low to a high of 42.2 MJ/L for Bunker “6C” as high, it should look obvious that engines running on Bunker “6C” are the best choices for fuel economy.

In fact, if you use the formula; Net Heat of Combustion divided by the cost per litre you will more accurately see a financial advantage to using diesel fuel. Additionally, the average spark ignited engine that uses gasoline may only utilize 15%-25% of the available energy of the fuel. Against a diesel engine that may utilize up to 50% of the available energy of the fuel with some approaching 60% in hybrid applications, it’s a little easier to see why there are more diesels in the family garage.

Remember when putting garbage on the curb was environmentally responsible? That attitude is changing with recycling and composting, so is the choice in what powers our lives.

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