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Can You Put Gasoline In A Kerosene Container?

Can You Put Gasoline In A Kerosene Container?

If you interact with fuels so much, you know that their proper storage is one area you can’t afford to compromise on at any cost. You see, how you keep your fuel can significantly impact your safety, that of the people around you, and that of the equipment using the fuel.

But again, we must acknowledge that there’s that one moment when you just won’t have the appropriate container for the type of fuel at hand. That may mean using a can intended for one kind of fuel for another. For instance, you may need to use a kerosene container for gasoline or vice versa.

But have you ever wondered whether there are any consequences for such an action? Could there be more to that warning sign on the kerosene container other than just a way to put you off? Well, I was interested to find out as well. Read on to see what I discovered!

Can You Put Gasoline In A Kerosene Container?

While it’s technically possible to put gasoline in a kerosene container, it’s not advisable. Gasoline is more flammable than kerosene, so placing it in a kerosene container may mislead one into believing that whatever product they have is less flammable than it actually is.

While kerosene and gas come from crude oil, they have to go through different processes to become the final products we use.

During these processes, some of their properties change. That gives each of the two fuels distinct properties from the other. For instance, gasoline ends up being lighter and more flammable than kerosene.

And because of this, you shouldn’t treat these two fuels with the same level of caution. For gasoline, there’s more need for more care and attention than kerosene.

Unfortunately, using a kerosene container for gasoline won’t let whoever is handling the container know that the fuel inside is more flammable.

This could lead to disastrous consequences, especially if the person isn’t aware that they should take more precautions when handling gasoline than they would with kerosene.

So, to avoid that, use a container meant for gasoline only to store gasoline because;

  • It could lead to disastrous consequences
  • It’s not advisable
  • Gasoline is more flammable than kerosene

Is It Illegal To Put Gas In A Blue Container?

Yes, in some states, it is illegal to put gasoline in a blue container. You see, blue is often associated with kerosene. So, by using a blue container for gas, one might be easily misled into thinking that the fuel is kerosene.

In most states, you are allowed to pump your gas. That means you can use a kerosene container for gasoline and vice versa. However, that doesn’t mean it’s legal to do so. Some states have laws that prohibit using the wrong container for a particular fuel.

So, as much as it’s technically possible to put gasoline in a kerosene container or vice versa, it’s advisable to refrain from doing so. The risks involved just aren’t worth it.

Actually, in some states like New Jersey and some areas of Oregon where you are served at the gas station, the attendant won’t allow you to use the wrong container for the fuel you’re trying to purchase. Otherwise, you and the gas station could land in trouble with the law.

Can You Put Diesel In A Kerosene Container?

Of course, you can, but it’s not advisable. Using a kerosene container for diesel – or any other fuel – is illegal in some states. It’s also not a good idea because it can be dangerous. So, it’s always best to use the appropriate container for each fuel.

Like gasoline and kerosene, diesel and kerosene are both petroleum products, but they’re not the same. They have different properties. For instance, diesel is heavier than kerosene and less flammable. As such, they serve variant purposes.

Because of these differences, storing diesel in a kerosene container can be dangerous. If you’re not careful, you could easily mislead someone into using diesel instead of kerosene, which could turn out catastrophic.

So, to avoid all that confusion, work with the respective containers for each fuel. That way, there’s no risk of mixing them up, and you can be sure that everyone knows which is which.

Red, Blue, Yellow Gas Containers And Their Meanings?

A red container is for gasoline only, whereas a blue one is for use on kerosene. As for yellow, this color code is for diesel, while green works for flammable mixed oils. So, always stick to the suitable container for the fuel you’re trying to store.

Since each petroleum product is different from the other, they all have varying storage needs. That means a container designed for gas comes with tailored features for that fuel type.

Of course, you can use any container you want to store fuel. However, it’s always best to use one that’s specifically designed for that purpose. Not only will it help you avoid any confusion, but it’ll also ensure that your fuel is stored safely and correctly.

And to avoid the confusion between them and the dangers that come with it, each fuel has its color code. That way, you can quickly identify which is which.

  • Red color code: This is for gasoline only. You mustn’t use it for any other type of fuel.
  • Blue color code: This color works for kerosene only. Again, don’t use it for any other purpose.
  • Yellow color code: This one should serve for diesel only.
  • Green color code: Flammable mixed oils.

You can think of the three colors much like the colored insulated casings used for electrical cables. Red is for live wires (or, in this case, gasoline), blue is for neutral (kerosene), and yellow is for earth or ground (diesel).

That doesn’t mean you can’t use a red wire for a neutral circuit or a blue wire for a live one. However, it’s not advisable because you could easily mislead someone and cause an accident. The same goes for using the wrong container for each fuel.

Can You Put Gasoline In Any Container?

No, you can’t just put gasoline in any old container. In fact, as pointed out earlier, it’s illegal to do so in some states. The reason for this is that gasoline is highly flammable. So, if you’re not careful, you could easily cause a fire.

To be on the safe side, always use a gasoline container for gasoline. That way, you can be sure that it won’t leak or catch fire.

And if you’re ever in doubt, just ask the attendant at the gas station. They’ll be more than happy to help you out.

How Is Kerosene Different From Gasoline?

The difference between kerosene and gasoline is in the carbon content. While gasoline has between 7 – 11 carbon atoms, kerosene has between 12 – 15. Because it contains more carbon, kerosene is less flammable than gasoline and is often used as a fuel for lanterns and heaters.

Kerosene and gasoline are hydrocarbons. And just so you know, hydrocarbons are molecules that contain both hydrogen and carbon. However, these two elements don’t come in equal amounts.

The simplest form of hydrocarbon is CH4, the chemical formula of methane. It’s also the lightest hydrocarbon and is gaseous at room temperature. But as the carbon and hydrogen atoms increase, the chain becomes more complex and heavier.

So, gasoline contains fewer carbon and hydrogen atoms than kerosene, diesel, and heating fuels used in homes. As such, it’s also lighter and will vaporize faster than any of these other fuels.

So, in other words, the difference between kerosene and gasoline is that the former contains more carbon atoms than the latter. And because of this, kerosene is less flammable and heavier than gasoline.

Actually, technically, kerosene is considered combustible, whereas gasoline is considered flammable. But for all intents and purposes, they’re both quick at catching fire.

Can You Mix Kerosene And Gas Together?

You shouldn’t mix kerosene and gas in any circumstance. Petroleum products combine, and there’s no way you can pour out two separate fuels. So, to avoid that, just avoid mixing kerosene and gas.

As you already know, kerosene and gas come from crude oil. So, they are miscible and can give you trouble when trying to separate them. Actually, the only way you can set the two apart once they mix is by using fractional distillation.

Fractional distillation is the same process used to obtain kerosene from crude oil in the first place. But unless you have the equipment and know-how, it’s best to avoid mixing kerosene and gas altogether.

Does Kerosene Smell Like Gasoline?

No, kerosene doesn’t smell like gasoline. Gasoline has a stronger odor and smells much like gas, while kerosene’s smell is more inclined towards that of diesel.

Of course, gasoline and kerosene are petroleum products, so they share some similarities in terms of smell. But kerosene’s scent is more subtle and not as overwhelming as gasoline.

So, if you’re ever unsure whether you’re dealing with kerosene or gasoline, just give it a sniff. If it smells too strong, then it’s probably gasoline. But if it’s more subdued, then it’s perhaps kerosene.

Final Verdict

Although they are all petroleum products, you should avoid putting gasoline in a kerosene container. Use the recommended red container for gas, while for kerosene, work with the blue one. If working with diesel, stick to a yellow can.

That way, you can avoid mixing the products up and causing any confusion that could potentially lead to disaster. Using the proper container may keep you from getting in trouble in some states.