Fuels »  Kerosene

What is Kerosene?

Kerosene is a liquid fossil fuel which comes from the refinement of crude oil. It is also known a Paraffin in some countries. Fuel parameters for kerosene are:
  • kinetic viscosity(cst at 40 deg c): 1.0min / 2.0max,
  • density at 15 deg c9(kg/liter) :0.82,
  • flash point(deg c) closed abel :38,
  • sulphur(% max) :0.2,
  • water (% volume) : nil,
  • smoke point (mm) :19

Who uses kerosene?

Cooking and space heating accounts for between 90 and 100% of energy consumption in poor households. The remainder of the energy consumed is for lighting provided either by the cooking fire, kerosene lamps, candles or electric torches.

In a survey of six low-income villages of South India, where space heating needs are negligible, little variation in end-use shares was found, with cooking between 76% and 81%, water heating 14 to 19%, and lighting by kerosene and some electricity between 2% and 3%.

Kerosene is also used in some areas for cooking using a kerosene stove, wither of the pressurised 'Primus', or, more commonly kerosene wick stoves.

The important quantity for analysts therefore is the actual energy substitution ratio. This can be established only by comparative surveys of electricity and kerosene users at similar socio-economic levels or, preferably, by consumption surveys before and after the substitution is made.


Because it is a liquid (and fairly easy to vaporise), kerosene is much easier to burn cleanly than coal, wood or agricultural residues.


  • Kerosene, although relatively easy to burn carries the risk of fire if the stove or lamp is knocked over.
  • Another risk from kerosene is poisoning if it is stored in soft drink and similar bottles and a child accidentally drinks it (Yach 1994, Gupta et al. 1998).
  • Cheap wick stoves and lamps can have high levels of smoke emissions


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Last edited by Karabi Dutta .
Page last modified on Monday October 18, 2010 07:19:54 GMT.
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