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Simple Man
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I have picked up some kerosene lanterns and I was wondering if kerosene has a shelf life like gas does? I can't find any clear answers on the net. Thanks for the info.
 
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Premium Member
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Kerosene storage.

Having worked as a refinery chemist one of the things we tested regularly was kerosene. To answer your question; it will last almost forever depending upon what kind of container you store it in. Where I worked it was a single cut product, in other words it came off a distillation tower on one tray and was never mixed with anything else. It is a pure product that if stored in tin or steel will last almost forever. Plastics can absorb light & change with time so if I was storing it I would keep it in 1 gallon tin cans. The distillation tower makes the following products from heaviest to the lightest; coming off the bottom was Kerosene, next up was JP4(jet fuel), followed by B Naptha or what is more commonly called white gas or camp stove fuel. These are all strait run products that usually do not have anything added except JP4 which they add a conductivity agent which reduces the ability for it to static spark.
Any of these products above can have a very long life shelf life if stored properly unlike gasoline which can have up to 8 different components mixed together.:thumb:
 

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audentes fortuna iuvat
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Having worked as a refinery chemist one of the things we tested regularly was kerosene. To answer your question; it will last almost forever depending upon what kind of container you store it in. Where I worked it was a single cut product, in other words it came off a distillation tower on one tray and was never mixed with anything else. It is a pure product that if stored in tin or steel will last almost forever. Plastics can absorb light & change with time so if I was storing it I would keep it in 1 gallon tin cans. The distillation tower makes the following products from heaviest to the lightest; coming off the bottom was Kerosene, next up was JP4(jet fuel), followed by B Naptha or what is more commonly called white gas or camp stove fuel. These are all strait run products that usually do not have anything added except JP4 which they add a conductivity agent which reduces the ability for it to static spark.
Any of these products above can have a very long life shelf life if stored properly unlike gasoline which can have up to 8 different components mixed together.:thumb:
Are you saying the plastic or the kerosene would absorb light and change over time? So can I store kerosene in plastic if I store the barrel in a dark area? It won't be pitch black but it won't be in direct sunlight either. Actually it's pretty light in the shed since I have two of those white corrugated panels installed in the roof for light during the day but the rest of the roof is tin. I bought some 15 white gallon drums I was planning to store kerosene in since they would weigh less when full than 55 gallon barrels would. Also do I need to worry about expansion, venting, condensation, etc or can I just fill them up and tighten down the lids? Should I fill them to the top or leave some space for expansion? It gets pretty hot here in the summer and they will be in a shaded shed stored outside away from the residence for safety reasons, so they would be exposed to pretty high temps during summer months. I read on a kerosene lamp site that one gallon of kerosene would allow you to burn about 5 standard lamps 4 - 5 hours a night for an entire month. So I figured 15 gallons would be go for an entire year. This is what I planned on using.

 

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Hydrocarbon storage

I would allow a minimum of 12 % outage for expansion & contraction.
There is usually a line with arrows pointing at the line near the top and you can always use that as a safe fill line.
If it is possible I recommend you install a small solar fan to vent out some of that hot summer heat to keep the temperatures down. I have seen these for $65.00 with solar panel. They start up when it gets hot & shut down when it cools off.

I posted this sometime ago regarding plastics & water storage.

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?p=217798#post217798
Post #17

Plastic or more correctly polymer compounds that are used for hydrocarbon storage must be able to withstand the hydrocarbon. It can be absorbed into the walls eventually causing the molecules to fail(soften) and breakdown. All the above ratings are for water, juice, acidic compounds etc.
Look at the symbol on you storage container. If it has one give me the data & I will tell you if it is hydrocarbon safe. Most of the strait run products can be stored in the heavier containers like you have. The UV will damage the container more than the kerosene.:thumb:
I almost forgot.
We used Nalgene to store hydrocarbons in. Looks like plastic or polymer jug but is almost impervious to hydrocarbons.
 

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Having worked as a refinery chemist one of the things we tested regularly was kerosene. To answer your question; it will last almost forever depending upon what kind of container you store it in. Where I worked it was a single cut product, in other words it came off a distillation tower on one tray and was never mixed with anything else. It is a pure product that if stored in tin or steel will last almost forever. Plastics can absorb light & change with time so if I was storing it I would keep it in 1 gallon tin cans. The distillation tower makes the following products from heaviest to the lightest; coming off the bottom was Kerosene, next up was JP4(jet fuel), followed by B Naptha or what is more commonly called white gas or camp stove fuel. These are all strait run products that usually do not have anything added except JP4 which they add a conductivity agent which reduces the ability for it to static spark.
Any of these products above can have a very long life shelf life if stored properly unlike gasoline which can have up to 8 different components mixed together.:thumb:
thankyouthankyouthankyou, just what I was looking for. Can you answer another question? I have a kerosene heater that requires clear kerosene but a five-gallon metal container I bought turned out to be pink. Does the color make a difference?
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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thankyouthankyouthankyou, just what I was looking for. Can you answer another question? I have a kerosene heater that requires clear kerosene but a five-gallon metal container I bought turned out to be pink. Does the color make a difference?
You can burn the red kerosene in a heater, but it will foul the wicks a little sooner. You can help it burn cleaner by adding 1/2 ounce methanol per 5 gallons kerosene. Those clean burn kerosene additives are just methanol. You can get it in auto stores as Heet fuel line antifreeze.

I've burned 100 gallons of red kerosene through 2 heaters and the wicks on both are still in great condition.
 

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Not what I appear to be
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MikeK, I see that gunguy hasn't posted since 2009, but is listed as a VIP member. The information on fuels that he contributed when active was quite valuable. Is he still around ?

I know there have been many threads since then that he could have shared his knowledge as a refinery chemist, yet he did not post. Just sayin'.
 

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MortarMaggot
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Are you saying the plastic or the kerosene would absorb light and change over time? So can I store kerosene in plastic if I store the barrel in a dark area? It won't be pitch black but it won't be in direct sunlight either. Actually it's pretty light in the shed since I have two of those white corrugated panels installed in the roof for light during the day but the rest of the roof is tin. I bought some 15 white gallon drums I was planning to store kerosene in since they would weigh less when full than 55 gallon barrels would. Also do I need to worry about expansion, venting, condensation, etc or can I just fill them up and tighten down the lids? Should I fill them to the top or leave some space for expansion? It gets pretty hot here in the summer and they will be in a shaded shed stored outside away from the residence for safety reasons, so they would be exposed to pretty high temps during summer months. I read on a kerosene lamp site that one gallon of kerosene would allow you to burn about 5 standard lamps 4 - 5 hours a night for an entire month. So I figured 15 gallons would be go for an entire year. This is what I planned on using.

I used to get those barrels for free from a place I worked. They got them with laundry detergent, fabric softener, other laundry type stuff. I store fuel in a few, store water in some that would be used for non drinking purposes. I also cut a couple in half for the wife to use as starter planters in early spring. I wish I could still get them for free, better yet if they were safe to store potable water in.
 

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Any of these products above can have a very long life shelf life if stored properly unlike gasoline which can have up to 8 different components mixed together.:thumb:
Actually, gasoline can actually be comprised of up to 200 different substances.

Kerosene will oxidize and turn yellow if left exposed to oxygen for long periods of time. Sealed up in an airtight container, it will stay good for a long, long time.

Put it in some 15 gallon HDPE drums that you can find locally for $20 or less ($5 where I live), use a bung wrench to tighten it down well, and you're good to go.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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MikeK, I see that gunguy hasn't posted since 2009, but is listed as a VIP member. The information on fuels that he contributed when active was quite valuable. Is he still around ?

I know there have been many threads since then that he could have shared his knowledge as a refinery chemist, yet he did not post. Just sayin'.
He's still around and has been active recently. Hopefully he'll share some of his knowledge with us.
 

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Not what I appear to be
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Can I store kerosene in my garage?
Some here would say no, but I do. Kerosene is a combustible liquid, it is not a flammable liquid as defined by CFR 49.

In simple terms, it will burn if the liquid is ignited, but it will not flash like gasoline does because the gasoline fumes will ignite.
 

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Some here would say no, but I do. Kerosene is a combustible liquid, it is not a flammable liquid as defined by CFR 49.

In simple terms, it will burn if the liquid is ignited, but it will not flash like gasoline does because the gasoline fumes will ignite.
The only rational argument that storing kerosene is dangerous is because it is flammable. But kerosene does not have flammable vapors like gasoline. The kerosene itself burns similarly to diesel, and like diesel, it will not explode.

Think about this for a minute though. We all travel thousands upon thousands of miles at high speeds with internal combustion engines and hot exhaust only a short distance from gasoline, which is potentially much more dangerous. I know of no one who refuses to ride in a car due to the risk of a fire or explosion.

If you are storing gasoline properly in airtight containers that will not vent (you must retain the gasoline vapors for it to burn properly), fires are only a risk if the gasoline container is itself compromised.

I've heard of guys putting out their cigarette by dunking it in liquid gasoline. I wouldn't recommend that, but it illustrates the point: gasoline vapors are what are flammable. Contain them, and the risk of fire plummets.
 

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Not what I appear to be
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Me thinks thee did not comprehend my post.

What do you think you stated differently, other than folks putting a cigarette out in gasoline, which is not a source of ignition because it is not an open flame or a spark.
 

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I have picked up some kerosene lanterns and I was wondering if kerosene has a shelf life like gas does? I can't find any clear answers on the net. Thanks for the info.
In a good metal jerrycan with as little air left in it as possible, it will last forever.
FerFAL
 
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