What Is No. 1 Diesel Fuel?

by Chandra Anderson
Semi image by Andrew Breeden from Fotolia.com

Diesel fuels come in differing grades, each with specific properties for specific applications. Diesel fuels are rated No. 1, 2 or 4 with No. 1 and No. 2 used most often in cars and trucks and No. 4 in locomotive engines. Marine diesel fuels are identified by letter designation such as DMA or DMX.

Definition

No. 1 diesel fuel is considered a light-middle grade fuel for use in abnormally low temperature conditions and with speeds and loads which vary widely.

Distillation

No. 1 diesel has a low volatility, or vaporizing, point. In general, all diesel fuels have lower flash points than gasoline and are inherently safer. No. 1 diesel fuel distills at a lower flash point than No. 2 or No.4, providing more reliable engine performance in lower temperatures.

Emissions

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) sets the standards for diesel fuel quality and emissions. The standard ASTM D 975 specifically states the amount of emissions an engine running on No. 1 diesel is allowed. Sulfur is the main concern in diesel emissions and the standard allows for no more than 5,000 parts per million vented to the atmosphere.

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