Fuel oil is a term used to describe a range of heavy, viscous liquid fuels that are derived from crude oil. It is a type of residual fuel that is produced by the fractional distillation of crude oil after the lighter, more volatile fuels have been removed. Fuel oil is typically composed of hydrocarbons with carbon numbers between 10 and 70, with a boiling point range of 200-400°C.
Fuel oil is commonly used as a fuel for boilers and furnaces in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. It is also used as a fuel for ships, power plants, and other large-scale industrial applications. The specific properties of fuel oil can vary depending on the source of the crude oil and the refining process used.
The quality of fuel oil is regulated by various national and international standards. The most widely used standards for fuel oil are ASTM D396 and ISO 8217. These standards specify the physical and chemical properties of fuel oil, including its density, viscosity, flash point, sulfur content, and ash content. The sulfur content is an important property because it affects the emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM) from boilers and furnaces. In many countries, regulations limit the sulfur content in fuel oil to reduce air pollution.