As one of the most highly transported fuels, diesel has many uses, including powering vehicles.
However, as there have been several high-profile examples of diesel spillages previously, it is important to get an answer to the question; for how long is spilled diesel flammable?
How flammable is diesel?
Created from the extraction of oil from crude oil, diesel is classified as a highly flammable liquid according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the US.
Given diesel has a flashpoint of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, it falls under the category of being flammable (any liquid below 199.4 degrees Fahrenheit is considered flammable and not combustible).
With higher amounts of sulphur and benzene content than gasoline and kerosene, diesel fuel has the potential to catch fire with ease.
Is a diesel fire harder to put out?
Although diesel ignites at a slower rate than kerosene or gasoline, it does burn. and diesel fires are extremely hazardous, posing a serious risk to both the environment and the safety of others.
In fact, as diesel takes longer to burn than other types of fuel, it is more difficult to put out.
For how long is spilled diesel flammable?
When gasoline has been spilled, it will usually be flammable for around five minutes before losing its flammability.
While diesel fuel is not as flammable as gasoline, it can still catch on fire under the right conditions and will be flammable for a long time because of its flashpoint.
Of course, this also depends on other factors. For example, a diesel flame won’t last for long without pressure.
What to do in the event of spilled diesel
All hazardous materials such as diesel have the potential to cause harm if spilled.
Due to its flammability and volatility, as explained above, if diesel spills then it cannot be ignored.
You should never try to wash it away with water because diesel and water do not mix. Doing so risks spreading the fuel further across the surface where it has spilled.
Instead, you should first determine the severity of the situation and act early. The best thing to do in this scenario is to remove any items that could cause a spark. You should also use absorbent pads and booms to soak up any puddles of fuel from the ground or from dirt. This should also help contain the spread of the fuel.
Throughout this process, make sure that other people are kept away from the area.
When the diesel is absorbed, it is advisable to contact a professional company that can conduct a clean-up correctly and safely.
Depending on where the spill has occurred, these clean-up operations will be able to use their equipment to excavate and clean contaminated land, or remove it from site and dispose of it elsewhere if necessary.
Even if only a small fuel spill has occurred, it is best to contact the team at DHI Excavations for an efficient fuel spill clean-up as soon as possible to prevent harm.