Gas Oil: What is it and what does it do?

Are you wondering what gas oil is and what it does?

Well, you needn’t ponder about this any longer. Our aim today is to teach you all there is to know about gas oil, including where it comes from, exactly what it is, and what appliances use it.

Where does gas oil come from?

Gas oil comes from crude oil. The crude oil that is pumped out of the ground is a black liquid, known as petroleum. Depending on the way that the crude oil is distilled, a variety of fuels can be made. Please see the illustration below for a more detailed view of how gas oil and different fuels are made from crude oil.

how gas oil is made from crude oil

Now that we have learnt how gas oil is made from crude oil, let’s learn exactly what it is:

What is gas oil?

Gas oil (also popularly known as red diesel) is the same fuel as normal road diesel but with one difference. Gas oil has been given a red marker dye so VOSA or the police can easily trace the fuel if it’s being misused. This is important, given that it pays a much lower tax than the diesel you buy at the petrol station.

Gas oil is intended to be used in construction, farming, and heating. It should not be used in vehicles that use public roads. If you did use the fuel on a public road, this could possibly lead to a prison sentence or a hefty fine.

If you would like to learn the history of rebated fuel then, please click here.

Now we know where gas oil comes from, it’s time to learn who uses it.

Who & what uses gas oil?

One of the main users of gas oil is the construction sector, with excavators, generators, cranes, dumper trucks and lots of other machines & vehicles. The sheer number of uses in construction gives you an idea of how much fuel the typical construction site will use.

Another common sector is the agricultural industry. With farmers using many different machines and vehicles on a farm, these will mostly be powered by gas oil. But don’t think it’s used to fuel just tractors and combine harvesters; farmers have grain dryers and heaters that need powering too.

Another sector which you might not normally think of is the smelting industry. They use gas oil to power their furnaces which melt the metals. These need lots of fuel to get the heat up to the required temperatures.

One more sector which doesn’t usually spring to mind is data centres. These need fuel for their backup generators in case they have a power failure and want to avoid hard drives and computers shutting down. In this instance, gas oil is absolutely essential for a smooth running of services.

To recap we have learnt:

  • Where gas oil comes from
  • What gas oil is
  • Who uses gas oil
  • What appliances use gas oil

Hopefully, this page has helped you learn more about gas oil and has answered the questions you may have had.

If you would like to learn a little more then why not give us a quick call on 0845 271 7007 or visit the HMRC website.

To download our brochure – Download here

To order gas oil from a reputable, speedy supplier, call 0845 271 7007 today.