How Much Does a Gallon of Diesel Weigh?

Last Updated on March 31, 2023 by Jess

Diesel is one of the most widely used fuels in the world. It powers vehicles and equipment in a variety of important industries. If the weight of your vehicle or equipment is a concern, you may be wondering how much a gallon of diesel weighs.

While it is easy to determine the price of a gallon of diesel fuel, the weight of diesel can vary. Several factors can affect its weight.

Today, we’ll take an in-depth look at diesel fuel weight to answer your questions. Let’s get started!

What is diesel?

Diesel is a heavy, oil-based fuel usually derived from crude oil. It is used in various applications, including diesel engines for cars, trucks, buses, and other vehicles. It is also a common fuel source for industrial generators, heavy machinery, and ships.

It has a high energy density, especially compared to gasoline. This allows more power to be generated without sacrificing efficiency. This efficiency is one of the main reasons why it is the fuel of choice for transporting heavy loads.

Another unique characteristic of diesel fuel is its ignition process. Because diesel has such a high ignition point, it does not rely on a spark plug to ignite the fuel as gasoline engines do.

Instead, it is injected into a combustion chamber and mixes with the air. A piston moves forward and compresses the air and fuel to the point where they ignite.

Although diesel fuel has historically had a bad reputation for its emissions, that is not necessarily the case. The United States and many other countries have implemented stringent emissions standards that have drastically reduced diesel engine emissions.

How much does a gallon of diesel weigh?

Unfortunately, determining the exact weight of a gallon of diesel isn’t as easy as you might think. Sure, you can say that a gallon of diesel weighs about 7 pounds. However, that’s not accurate, and precision is important when you’re hauling hundreds or thousands of gallons of fuel.

The weight of a gallon of diesel depends on the temperature and specific gravity of the fuel. Any change in these properties will also affect the weight. However, the changes do not have a large effect.

You can use a calculator from Aqua-Calc to run some tests. Let’s say you put 35 gallons of diesel in your vehicle, and it is 21 degrees Fahrenheit.

The calculator tells us it would weigh about 262.36 pounds. If you fill up the same amount of fuel at 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it weighs 254.87 pounds.

When you’re only dealing with 35 gallons, the 7.49 pound difference is not very significant. However, tanker trucks hauling diesel to gas stations can carry about 11,000 gallons. In the same 11,000 gallon scenario, that would make a difference of 2,352.44 pounds. That is one ton in weight.

How is diesel fuel different from regular gasoline?

Diesel fuel and regular gasoline perform similar functions but differ significantly, except for the weight of a gallon. Diesel fuel is a byproduct of crude oil from a hydrocarbon mixture.

It is denser than gas and has a higher boiling point than water. This makes it more resistant to evaporation than gasoline, which can evaporate at room temperature.

Gasoline is much more flammable than diesel fuel. The slightest spark near a gasoline tank can lead to a serious situation. However, the flash point of diesel fuel is so high that throwing a burning match into a puddle of diesel fuel would do nothing but extinguish the flame.

Another difference is that diesel is much more efficient. It has a higher energy density and a higher compression ratio. Therefore, diesel vehicles are stronger and more powerful and require less fuel.

If you’ve seen the prices at the gas station lately, you’ll probably appreciate any savings.

Why is diesel fuel more expensive than gasoline?

Diesel fuel, while more efficient than gasoline, costs more at the pump. Unfortunately, this is an unavoidable part of owning a diesel vehicle. However, there are several factors that make diesel fuel more expensive.

First, the refining process for diesel is generally more expensive than for gasoline. The higher boiling point means it takes longer to remove impurities and prepare the fuel for use.

During this process, refiners improve the cetane number, which indicates how well the fuel burns in an engine.

Another reason diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline has to do with taxes. The light bulbs that come on show the price at the pump, but they don’t tell you what is included in that price.

States impose a tax on the sale of both diesel and gasoline. Many states impose the same tax on both types of fuel, but this is not always the case.

In Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, diesel is charged more per gallon than gasoline. In some states, you can pay between $20 and $39 more in taxes per gallon.

Supply and demand can also greatly affect the price of diesel. While private vehicles often fill up 10 to 20 gallons at a time, trucks fill up hundreds of gallons.

Even small changes in the supply of diesel fuel can have a significant impact on the price at the pump.

What affects the weight of diesel?

A handful of factors affect the weight of a gallon of diesel. Knowing these factors will help you better estimate diesel weight and ensure smooth engine operation. Let’s take a look!


As we have already shown, the weight of diesel fuel can change as a function of its temperature. When the temperature increases, the volume increases and the weight decreases.

On the other hand, when the temperature decreases, the fuel contracts and increases in weight.

It is not uncommon for some drivers to experience mechanical problems due to these changes.

Cold weather can cause diesel fuel to become thick, which can lead to clogs in fuel lines and filters. Many drivers use fuel additives to prevent clogs in their fuel systems.

Don’t forget: Have you ever thought about what would happen if you put DEF in a diesel tank? Click on the link to find out!

Diesel type / fuel grade

Not all diesel fuels and grades are the same. Since their formulas can be very different, so are their weights. Let’s look at the most common types of diesel and how heavy they are.

Number 1 Diesel

Number 1 diesel has a lower viscosity than other types of diesel fuel. This makes it easier to ignite and burns cleaner. This diesel fuel generally weighs about 7.3 pounds per gallon. It is also not nearly as high in energy as number 2 diesel.

It is also called winter diesel and is generally intended for off-road equipment and home heating. Since it is not taxed like on-road fuel, you need to know the rules about when and where you can use it. Number 1 diesel fuel is not as readily available as other grades, but some gas stations in rural areas carry it.

Close-up of a diesel gas station

Number 2 Diesel

Number 2 diesel is the most commonly used form. It has a higher energy density and can produce tremendous power. A gallon of this type of diesel generally weighs between 6.91 and 6.96 pounds. However, as mentioned earlier, this weight can change depending on temperature and humidity.

Petroleum, synthetic diesel, and ULSD are all examples of Class 2 diesel fuels, and each blend has its own characteristics that distinguish it from the others. Through the refining process, refineries can produce different blends.

Specific gravity

Specific gravity (SG) measures the density of a substance relative to water. The specific gravity of water is 1.0.

Consequently, any substance with a specific gravity less than 1.0 is less dense than water. Also, any substance with a specific gravity greater than 1.0 is denser than water.

Pure biodiesel has a specific gravity of 0.88 compared to Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) of 0.82. ULSD minimizes the number of sulfur particles, thereby reducing sulfur dioxide emissions. This helps prevent air pollution and respiratory problems.

Biodiesel, on the other hand, is derived from vegetable oils and animal fats. The various blends of biodiesel range from 5%/95% and 20%/80% biodiesel to petroleum diesel.

ULSD is a fossil fuel, while biodiesel is a renewable fuel that can help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. While ULSD is readily available at many gas stations, biodiesel is not. It is often only available regionally or seasonally at certain locations.

Please note: We hate the smell of diesel on our clothes, but we have found a few ways to remove the diesel smell from our clothes

Close up of a diesel fuel pump

Diesel weighs more and gives more power

A gallon of diesel fuel weighs more, but it also packs more punch than gasoline. This is partly due to the higher energy density of diesel fuel and its ability to contain more energy per unit.

If you need to transport a lot of diesel fuel, it’s important to know how much it weighs. There may be weight restrictions for your vehicle, the roads, and many others.

Deciding between a diesel and a gas engine can be difficult. You have to consider weight, volume, price, etc. However, if you want to get the job done quickly and efficiently, a diesel engine is hard to beat.

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