alternative fuel for kerosene heaters : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

i bought a kerosene heater for alternative heat, however i do not have a lot of storage space for the kerosene. i was wondering if i happen to run out of kerosene, would it be possible to use home heating oil or perhaps diesel fuel? would this be dangerous, could either alternative fuel ( if they would work) cause an explosion or catch fire? thanks!

-- judi grenaldo (, December 27, 1999


Buy a petromax. They will burn anything that is liquid at room temperatures. You can get the small one or the big one. They even make a stove adaptor for the big one.

-- Ken Seger (, December 27, 1999.

Hi Judi,

It wouldn't be dangerous to use the heavier diesel/heating oil #2 (kerosene is basically the lighter diesel#1, just a little cleaner). How well it would work, I haven't a clue. The wick might clog up faster, and you might have a stronger smell.

-- Dean -- from (almost) Duh Moines (, December 27, 1999.

Does anyone know if lamp oil is the same as kerosene?

-- cmd0903 (, December 27, 1999.

I'm sure that one of the gents will be better qualified to answer the reasons why, but I can tell you that altho you can use either kerosene or lanp oil in a lamp, you want to use ONLY kerosene in a kerosene heater.

Even if you coud use lamp oil in a kero heater, it would cost a lot more!

-- Jo Ann (, December 27, 1999.

You can use home heating oil or diesel fuel in most kerosene heaters. The disadvantages to doing this is that you'll almost certainly have to clean the heater more often, there'll be more odor (maybe a good deal more) and you won't get as good of performance but it can be done.

Lamp oil and K1 kerosene (not other grades) are largely interchangable as well. I prefer lamp oil because I am not fond of even the mild odor of K1 but it can be done. If push really comes to shove you can even burn diesel fuel or home heating oil in your kerosene lamps but you'll be disappointed with the perfomance and the smell.

More volatile fuels like any grade of gasoline, napthan, Coleman fuel, white gas, lighter fluid, charcoal starting fluid and so on should not be used in kerosene heaters or lamps of any sort. The more volatile fuel vaporizes much more easily and would present a signficant risk of uncontrolled fire and/or explosion.


The Prudent Food Storage FAQ, v3.5

-- A.T. Hagan (, December 27, 1999.

Acording to the $2 video I got with my Petromax lantern from BRITELYT.COM, you can use fuels like denatured alchohol or gasoline in THAT lantern as well as K-1 or peanut oil (mixed with denatured alcholol). But your right: DONT use gasoline in a standare karosene lantern.

-- Dennis (aka Paul D. Law) (, December 27, 1999.

I got this off the Juice Page

Diesel vs. Kerosene - according to Chevron Oil : K1 kerosene is a low-sulfur kerosene that is made for use in space heaters, lamps, etc. - and not for use in vehicles or generators. It is also not taxed so would be illegal to use in "on-road" vehicles.

Some of the differences between the three fuels would be


Four semi-annual surveys for years 1990-1992 showed national averages as such for viscosity (represented in milliPascal-seconds (mPa . s)(=centipoise) cSt)

Diesel # 1 1.33 Kerosene 1.63 Diesel # 2 3.20

Lower lubricity is likely as the viscosity decreases. While this may not cause catastrophic instant damage, it could cause long-term wear of pumps, etc.

Flash Point

Diesel # 1 and Kerosene both have lower flash points than Diesel # 2 and are therefore somewhat more hazardous.


Both Kerosene and Diesel # 1 are less dense than Diesel # 2 and will thus have a slight reduction (~3%) in BTU per gallon. This would likely be reflected in lower fuel economy.

-- Patrick (, December 28, 1999.

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