Diesel Oil vs. Gas Oil

What's the Difference?

Diesel oil and gas oil, also known as gasoline, are both petroleum-based fuels commonly used in various applications. However, they differ in terms of their composition, properties, and uses. Diesel oil is heavier and denser than gas oil, with a higher energy content. It is primarily used as fuel for diesel engines, such as those found in trucks, buses, and heavy machinery. On the other hand, gas oil is lighter and more volatile, making it suitable for spark-ignition engines, like those in cars and motorcycles. Gas oil also contains additives to enhance its performance and reduce emissions. Overall, while both fuels serve as vital energy sources, their specific characteristics make them more suitable for different types of engines and applications.


AttributeDiesel OilGas Oil
DefinitionHeavy petroleum distillate used as fuel in diesel enginesLight petroleum distillate used as fuel in internal combustion engines
ColorYellowish to brownColorless to light yellow
ViscosityHigher viscosityLower viscosity
Boiling PointHigher boiling pointLower boiling point
UsageUsed in diesel engines, generators, and heating systemsUsed in gasoline engines, power plants, and industrial applications
Sulfur ContentHigher sulfur contentLower sulfur content
Energy ContentHigher energy contentLower energy content
Flash PointHigher flash pointLower flash point

Further Detail


When it comes to fuel options for various applications, diesel oil and gas oil are two commonly used options. Both fuels have their own unique attributes and are suitable for different purposes. In this article, we will delve into the characteristics of diesel oil and gas oil, exploring their similarities and differences to help you understand which fuel is best suited for your needs.

1. Composition

Diesel oil, also known as diesel fuel, is a petroleum-based fuel derived from crude oil through a refining process. It is primarily composed of hydrocarbon chains with 10 to 16 carbon atoms. The refining process removes impurities and increases the energy density of the fuel, making it suitable for use in diesel engines.

On the other hand, gas oil, also referred to as gasoline or petrol, is a lighter fuel compared to diesel oil. It is composed of hydrocarbon chains with 8 to 12 carbon atoms. Gas oil is obtained through a similar refining process as diesel oil but undergoes additional treatments to enhance its combustion properties.

2. Energy Efficiency

One of the key differences between diesel oil and gas oil lies in their energy efficiency. Diesel oil has a higher energy density compared to gas oil, meaning it contains more energy per unit volume. This higher energy density allows diesel engines to extract more power from the fuel, resulting in better fuel efficiency and mileage.

Gas oil, on the other hand, has a lower energy density. While it may not provide the same level of energy efficiency as diesel oil, it is still widely used in gasoline engines due to its ability to combust more easily. Gasoline engines are typically lighter and more compact, making them suitable for smaller vehicles and applications where high power output is not the primary concern.

3. Combustion Characteristics

When it comes to combustion characteristics, diesel oil and gas oil exhibit distinct behaviors. Diesel oil requires higher compression ratios and temperatures to ignite, a process known as compression ignition. This characteristic makes diesel engines more efficient in converting fuel into mechanical energy. Additionally, diesel engines produce lower carbon monoxide emissions compared to gasoline engines.

Gas oil, on the other hand, utilizes spark ignition, where a spark plug ignites the fuel-air mixture in the engine cylinder. This ignition method allows for quicker and smoother combustion, resulting in a smoother engine operation. However, gasoline engines tend to produce higher levels of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions compared to diesel engines.

4. Applications

Due to their differing characteristics, diesel oil and gas oil find applications in various industries and sectors. Diesel oil is commonly used in heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks, buses, and construction machinery. Its high energy density and fuel efficiency make it ideal for long-haul transportation and heavy-duty operations.

Gas oil, on the other hand, is predominantly used in passenger cars, motorcycles, and small engines. Its lighter composition and easier combustion properties make it suitable for smaller vehicles that require quick acceleration and higher RPMs. Gasoline is also commonly used as a fuel for power generators, lawnmowers, and other small machinery.

5. Environmental Impact

When considering the environmental impact, both diesel oil and gas oil have their pros and cons. Diesel engines generally emit lower levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) compared to gasoline engines, contributing less to the greenhouse effect. However, diesel engines produce higher levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), which can have detrimental effects on air quality.

Gasoline engines, on the other hand, emit higher levels of CO2 due to their lower fuel efficiency. However, advancements in emission control technologies have significantly reduced the levels of NOx and PM emissions from gasoline engines, making them more environmentally friendly compared to older models.


In conclusion, diesel oil and gas oil are two distinct fuels with their own unique attributes. Diesel oil offers higher energy density, better fuel efficiency, and is commonly used in heavy-duty applications. Gas oil, on the other hand, provides easier combustion, making it suitable for smaller vehicles and applications where quick acceleration is required.

Understanding the differences between diesel oil and gas oil is crucial in selecting the appropriate fuel for your specific needs. Whether you require power for long-haul transportation or quick acceleration in a passenger car, considering the composition, energy efficiency, combustion characteristics, applications, and environmental impact will help you make an informed decision.

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