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What is Heavy Fuel?

The US military has made an extraordinary effort to convert all of its gas powered equipment to operate on one fuel. It’s an initiative termed as “One Fuel Foreword”. There are a few different types of fuels that fall in the category of “Heavy Fuel”. The largely Kerosene based JP8 is one of the primary fuels used for this initiative. The reason for using this fuel over gasoline is the fact that it is very hard to ignite and it can sit in storage containers for a very long time without degrading. This makes it relatively safe and reduces the risk of fire on a ship or base.

Regular gasoline engines start to run rough at very cold temperatures. That’s because the flash point is about -40ºF. If atomized gasoline is less than the flash point it will not ignite. Regular Gasoline engines that have been converted to run on JP8 run rough because the flash point of JP8 is about 140ºF. Therefore the gaseous mixture will not ignite unless the fuel air mixture is above 140ºF or at a high pressure.

Heavy fuel is typically used in compression ignition engines because it is more likely to ignite under high pressures. A compression ignition engine is commonly called a Diesel engine. That’s because the compression ignition cycle is a Diesel cycle.

The engines that HFE International converts can be gasoline engines operating on the Otto cycle. HFE International makes this possible by implementing several proprietary techniques for heating and fuel atomization.