What Is the Difference Between JP5 & Diesel Fuel?

by Mike Schoonveld
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f18 hornet preparing for carrier landing image by Jorge Moro from Fotolia.com

Diesel fuel may be made from crude oil, while JP5 fuel is always refined from crude oil. The initial refining process for both are similar. Further refining and additives, however, make them completely different products.

Diesel Fuel

Diesel fuel is any fuel designed to be used in a diesel engine. Most diesel fuel is refined from crude oil, but increasingly, diesel made from biomass or natural gas is becoming available.


JP5 fuel is a jet-propulsion fuel made to strict military specifications. Based on kerosene, the most significant difference between JP5 and other jet fuels is it has a higher flash point and is required for use on carrier-based aircraft.


JP5 fuel is widely available around the world and meets military specifications for NATO, the United States, Great Britain and other countries. Diesel fuel is also available worldwide but which grade or grades are available in any particular spot is determined more by the climate or season of the year than the types of diesel engines in which the fuel will be used. Thinner grades or fuels with special anti-gel additives are required to keep the fuel from gelling in cold weather areas.

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