The Effect of Temperature Change on Diesel Fuel

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The volume and energy levels of both diesel fuel and gasoline will be altered by temperature fluctuations, which can increase and decrease the volume of the fuel, according to the American Trucking Associations.

Standard

  • The reference point for the volume of a gallon of diesel fuel sold in the U.S. is measured at the fuel's optimum operating temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. At 60 F a single gallon of diesel fuel measures 231 cubic inches.

Temperature

  • At temperatures cooler than 60 F diesel fuel decreases in volume but produces higher energy levels for the volume of fuel. By contrast, temperatures rising above 60 F expand the volume of diesel fuel and reduce the amount of energy each gallon of gasoline produces.

Compensation

  • Fuel-dispensing equipment can be fitted with automatic temperature compensation devices that gauge the temperature before calculating the correct amount of fuel to pump to compensate for temperature changes. The benefits of this system are offset by the increased costs of the equipment that would be passed on to the consumer.

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