Octane vs Cetane Number - Gas vs Diesel

Posted by: Jesse Kleib on 11/17/2021

As you head to the pump to fill up, there is a very important decision to be assessed. Even if that decision is made for you, you better make sure that you pick up the correct nozzle and put the right form of fuel into your vehicle, otherwise, you could be looking at a bad time that nobody wants, no matter how mechanically inclined you might be.

However, as all of the gasoline comes out of the same hose, how different could it really be? In turn, we have different numbers that indicate the octane of gasoline so how exactly would something like that apply to diesel fuel? Is there a way that we discriminate different types of diesel in the same way as we do with gas?

We’ve all heard the word “octane” thrown around to decide which grade of pump gas is correct for our vehicle. While many might have a loose definition of what exactly it is that the octane really does for your vehicle, this time, the Engineering Explained YouTube channel dives into what exactly octane actually is and how being familiar with this concept could help you the next time that you head to the pump. In addition, we get to learn a little bit about the number behind diesel fuel which is referred to as a “cetane number.”

If you follow along with the video below, you might learn a little bit about fuel today. In addition to being able add this tidbit of knowledge to your repertoire of information that you have stored up about vehicles, you’ll probably find a situation where you can whip it out and use it to correct somebody who was probably throwing around one of these words incorrectly because we know that that happens more often than not.

You’re going to be so much fun at parties, now!