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If you put a lighted match into diesel it goes out. This is because the fuel is not very volatile - not enough evaporates to make a fuel air mixture that will burn. It is still usefull as a fuel because if it is heated it becomes much more volatile. So if you use a wick (where the fuel in the wick can be heated along with the wick) it will burn just fine.

In a diesel engine the fuel is heated by spraying it into very hot air. With a lower vapor pressure, and higher flash point > 60 oC... I'll grant that it is less flammable than gasoline. However, it is not accurate to say that diesel is not flammable.

The National Fire Protection Agency gives it a flammability rating of 2 (on a scale of 0 to 4). Any material safety data sheet (MSDS) that you look up for diesel will tell you that it is flammable.

Refer to the following URL for facts about diesel:

topic index | author index | special indexBibliographic EntryResult

(w/surrounding text)Standardized

ResultMaynard, Philip. 65742 Fire and Explosion Investigation [pdf]. UTS: Centre for Forensic Science. "2. What is the autoignition temperature of

a) Petrol 246°C

b) Diesel 210°C"

483 K Flash point. Wikipedia, 15, May 2005. "Diesel:

Flash point > 62°C

Autoignition temperature: 210°C

483 K Material Safety Data Sheet [pdf]. Syntroleum, 19 Oct 2004. "Flammable properties:

Flash point (PMCC): 100-125 F(37.8-51.5 C)

OSHA Flammability Class: Combustible Class II Liquid LEL (vol%): ~0.6 UEL (vol%): ~4.7

Autoignition temperature: ~257°C (~494°F)"

530 K Fire and Arson Accelerants. Excerpts from The Pocket Guide to Accelerant Evidence Collection Appendix II: Twenty Common Ignitable Liquids used as Fire Accelerants. 1999. "7. Fuel oil no.2 (home heating fuel, diesel fuel), Chemical formula is a carbon range of C9 - C23; flash point 126°F - 204°F (52-96°C); ignition temperature 494 F (257°C)"

530 K Diesel fuel and exhaust emissions. World Health Organization, 1996. [see table below]

No. 1: 450 K - 602 K No. 2: 527K - 558 K No. 3: 536 K

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Q: Can you light diesel fuel with a match?
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