What Is Diesel Fuel Used For?

by Chris Rowe
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U.S. Environmental Protection Agencey

Diesel fuel contains more energy and greater power density than other fuels such as gasoline and is the fuel of choice for tough jobs. Efforts are underway to reduce the amount of harmful emission caused by burning diesel fuel.


Diesel fuel is the most common energy source in the United States for the buses used to transport school children and other bus riders.


According to the US Energy Information Administration, approximately 94 percent of freight shipped in the United States travel on a train, truck or boat that uses diesel fuel.


Another major user of diesel fuel is the construction industry. Equipment such as forklifts, cranes, excavators and loader backhoes depend on diesel's power to fuel their work.


In the United States, over two thirds of the tractors, cultivators, harvesters and other farm equipment use diesel fuel.


Ports use diesel-powered equipment to handle cargo and as fuel for ferries and tugboats.

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