AUTOMOTIVE INSIGHT: We have Plenty of Diesel, if We make it from Heating Oil

April 22nd, 2008 at 5:35pm

As heard on
WWJ Newsradio 950

Listen to this story:

Diesel Fuel1

Diesel engines can boost fuel efficiency and cut CO2 emissions, as long as the United States can make enough diesel fuel.

One of the barriers that could hurt diesel sales in the U.S. is the lower refining capacity we have for diesel fuel compared to gasoline. We have a lot less diesel refining capacity and that’s one reason why diesel is currently priced so much higher than gasoline.

But it turns out that heating oil is very close to diesel and it would be easy for existing refineries to produce a lot more diesel if they didn’t have to make heating oil. In fact, the ratio is one-third diesel to two-thirds heating oil, so the U.S. could easily double diesel fuel production.

But that means the U.S. has to put the strategy and incentives in place to get all the homes and businesses that use heating oil to switch to some other fuel, like natural gas.

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