Explained: What is winter diesel?

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News: India’s armed forces may soon be using winter diesel for operations in high altitude areas such as Ladakh where winter temperatures plummet to extremely low levels.

Facts:

  • Winter Diesel: It is a specialised fuel that was introduced by Indian Oil Corporation(IOC) for high altitude regions and low-temperature regions such as Ladakh where ordinary diesel can become unusable.
  • Why can’t we use regular Diesel? The flow characteristics of regular diesel change at such low temperatures and using it may be detrimental to vehicles.
  • Features of Winter Diesel:
    • Winter diesel contains additives to maintain lower viscosity so that it can be used in temperatures as low as -30°C.
    • It has higher cetane rating — an indicator of the combustion speed of diesel and compression needed for ignition.
    • It has lower sulphur content which would lead to lower deposits in engines and better performance.