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 about gas oil. We will teach you about where it comes from, exactly what it is, and what appliances use gas oil.

Where does gas oil come from?

Gas oil comes from crude oil. 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 is the same 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 gas oil 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 gas oil 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 farming. With farmers using many different machines and vehicles on a farm, these will mostly be powered by gas oil. Don’t think it’s just tractors and combine harvesters; farmers also have grain dryers and heaters.

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.

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.

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