Gasoline and diesel are the two main fuels for vehicles. Very few vehicles run on alternative fuels such as natural gas or electricity compared to the ones run on petroleum products. Petroleum is abundant within the earth, which is why it is so useful and popular. Without these fuels we would go back to the dark ages where the only reliable methods of travel were by foot, horse or wind powered boat. Once crude oil is refined, it creates the fuel that literally powers the world. The refining process converts it into gasoline, diesel fuel, petroleum products, and fuel oil.
Hydrocarbons mixed in a sort of chain form crude oil. The products derived from crude oil have unique attributes that helps to create the individual fuels. Hydrocarbon chains then create what we use in diesel, oil and gasoline as well as all petroleum products (ever used petroleum jelly?) Each one of these hydrocarbon chains creates the petroleum products once they go through the refining process. The refining process called distillation occurs when the crude oil heats up forming vapors, which rise and a tray catches it. The condensed liquid separates from the crude oil in the creation of other petroleum products.
The lighter, shorter hydrocarbon chains form gasoline, because gasoline is the lightest of the fuels. This makes it highly flammable. When fueling at the pump you can smell the vapors. It is smart to not smoke or even use a cell phone until you are away from the pumps. Gasoline engines can have higher horsepower and drives much faster than diesel. However, diesel is more fuel-efficient as it produces some 15,000 more BTUs of energy per 3.79 litres over what gasoline produces. The heavier weight of diesel makes it more fuel-efficient, as it take longer to burn through it.
Diesel looks like oil and even has an oily smell. Because it is a heavier fuel it takes longer to evaporate, does not produce as much vapor. Diesel does not catch fire as easily either. Because it takes less work to produce from crude oil it is often cheaper than gasoline, though in recent years it has cost more. A diesel engine is more fuel-efficient than a gasoline engine. People looking to drive an economical vehicle will consider diesel over gasoline. The cost of a diesel engine brand new is more than a gasoline engine, but the savings through driving often make up the price difference.