What is a Diesel Furnace?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A diesel furnace is a piece of equipment that produces heat by burning diesel. The diesel used to power the furnace can be of petroleum origin or it can be derived from biomass; the terms petrodiesel and biodiesel are sometimes used to distinguish diesel by source. Diesel furnaces are used all over the world for a wide variety of purposes and they are manufactured by a number of different companies.

The diesel used to power a diesel furnace can be derived from petroleum or biomass.
The diesel used to power a diesel furnace can be derived from petroleum or biomass.

Furnaces in general are designed to produce heat that can be used directly in the heating of a structure or in industrial processes. Furnaces are necessary for the smelting of steel, production of clinker for cement, and many other processes. The heat produced can vary depending on the intended application and furnaces vary in size from small units designed for residential heating to massive equipment used in steel mills. People have been using variations on the basic furnace design for thousands of years for heating and manufacturing applications; the ancient Chinese, for example, used furnaces to fire pottery products and to refine brine to make salt.

In the case of a diesel furnace, the heat is produced with a burner tailored to work with diesel. The burner can be controlled to adjust the rate of combustion to increase or decrease the heat of the furnace. In addition to the burner, the furnace also has a blower to circulate the heat along with vents that remove the byproducts of combustion and allow fresh air to flow into the burner for a steady burn rate.

A well-designed diesel furnace that is maintained properly can burn efficiently and cleanly. Special handling and storage are needed for diesel fuel, but diesel can be affordable when compared to other options for powering furnaces. For residential use, a in-home heating specialist can be consulted when homeowners make choices about heating options. It is important to select a diesel furnace that is the correct size for the residence, and to consider all of the fuels available before deciding on a specific model. It may be more efficient, for example, to have a propane or natural gas furnace.

For industrial applications, in addition to using generic diesel furnaces, companies can also order custom versions. A diesel furnace designed for a particular application can have special features that are designed to make it function as cleanly and effectively as possible in the space. These features may include specialty safety features that address the unique needs of a given industry.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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