Kerosene

Also known as: kero, kerosine

Kerosene is a distillation cut primarily made up of molecules with 9 to 12 carbon atoms. The kerosene distillation cut has a boiling range between 330 and 550F.

The primary use of kerosene is as a blend stock to make jet fuel. It can also be sold directly as kerosene fuel oil (No. 1 fuel oil), which goes by a number of names including stove oil, lamp oil, and range oil. A highly purified form of kerosene (white oil) is used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food products.

Kerosene can also be blended in significant amounts into diesel fuel.

The lighter end of the kerosene distillation cut can also be lifted into the heavy naphtha cut above to increase the volume of feed to the reformer. This is one lever that the refinery has to shift its yield away from diesel and toward gasoline.

Also, if necessary, kerosene will be used as a cutter stock to reduce the viscosity of residual fuel oil. However, this results in a significant value downgrade for kerosene, versus its other uses, so will be kept to a minimum.

The Refinery Reference Desk includes content derived from our industry experts as well as from public data sources such as company websites. Nothing herein is intended to serve as investment advice. This material is based on information that we believe to be reliable and adequately comprehensive, but we do not represent that such information is in all respects accurate or complete. McKinsey Energy Insights does not accept any liability for any losses resulting from use of the content.



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