I bought a 5 gallon kerosene can for $2 at a garage sale to use as steamer
to try wood bending.
As a little extra bonus, there were 2 gallons of kerosene in the can; but I
have a few questions about it.
1) It is blue! I've never seen blue kerosene before; is it something
2) It is probably old. Kerosene doesn't spoil does it?
3) There was a crack in the cap; not very big, but if it has been there for
years there could have been some evaporation. In gasoline all the most
volatile stuff would have evaporated, making it pretty useless; but would it
matter for kerosene?
Aviation fuels are tinted to make them easy to recognize. I'll bet
your "kerosene" is really jet-A. I'm not sure of the color for jet-A,
but you can check this out by calling an FBO at a local airport.
Premium (sometimes called "lamp grade") is clear with no dye. The higher
the quality of kerosene the clearer it is. It is hard to find because
most heating fuels are required by taxing authorities to be dyed so if
they inspect a trucks tank for example if the fuel is colored they know
that the road use taxed hasn't been paid.
Only gasoline aviation fuels are dyed. Jet A is definitely not dyed. One
of the acceptance tests is to soak some on a filter paper and compare to
a chart. Colorless is best and only very slight yellow shades are
Color is just what it is. Refineries color it for various reaons and
there are no universal standards.
Old could be a problem. There was a death around here this last winter
due so a kerosene heater. It was reported that they had used old fuel and
that it had caused the problem.
I found a great website from a guy who sell wicks.
He tells me the blue could be a local regulation, or it could be jet fuel.
Jet fuel is just good kerosene, so it is fine.
He said the old/aired kerosene ought to be okay, but suggested burning a bit
in a kerosene lamp to be sure. If it doesn't burn well it could be a little
water, which adding some acohol might clear up.
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