from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A colorless liquid, C16H34, used as a solvent and in standardized hydrocarbons.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The aliphatic hydrocarbon C16H34 (hexadecane) used as a standard for diesel fuel

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as hexadecane. C16-H34.


Latin cētus, whale (so called because it is found in sperm whale oil); see Cetus + -ane.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • The desirable qualities required for distillate fuels include controlled flash and pour points, clean burning, no deposit formation in storage tanks, and a proper diesel fuel cetane rating for good starting and combustion.

    Petroleum refining

  • Vehicles in Mexico can use a heavier, higher cetane fuel because there is far less risk of the sorts of temperatures which will gel fuel than in, say, Wyoming.

    Gasoline price in Mexico

  • Mexican diesel is heavier, almost D3 - much more paraffin and sulphur, slightly higher BTU and cetane, but smokier and dirtier.

    Gasoline price in Mexico

  • The diesel fuel which is sold in the U.S. runs about 40 cetane where I'm from (the Northeast) and in Mexico it is 50 cetane uniformly.

    Gasoline price in Mexico

  • The cetane rating of the fuel is as much as 10 points higher than U.S. diesel.

    Gasoline price in Mexico

  • The minimum cetane rating that Caterpillar engines are designed to operate at is 35.

    Chapter 6

  • Generally, the heavier the fuel the lower the cetane number.

    Chapter 6

  • The higher the cetane number, the easier the fuel will self ignite in the combustion chamber of the Diesel engine.

    Chapter 6

  • It has a low cetane number, so it works well when introduced into the cylinder with the air, compressed, and mixed with a little diesel fuel in order to cause an explosion

    Chapter 11

  • That is why cetane numbers are all about how easily the fuel ignites on its own in the cylinder.

    Chapter 11

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