The Guide to Generator Fuel Types

man refilling fuelToday, it’s imperative to have a backup plan should an emergency arise. This is why companies buy generators for sale online and impose security measures on their networks. Every downtime is money lost, making these steps necessary. Buying a generator, however, isn’t just picking out the first one you see online. It’s important that you understand how it works and the fuel type that it uses.


Some generators use gasoline as fuel. It’s a good choice because it’s easy to get. It’s also effective with portable and smaller machines. On the downside, gasoline is highly flammable and has a relatively short shelf life (around 12 months). Storage can be an issue especially if you’re going to stock large quantities. It’s also a bit pricier than other fuel types.


Diesel is the least flammable fuel. It’s easy to get diesel supply even during disasters because it’s the fuel that the military, trucking industry, and farm machinery use. Fuel additives make diesel capable of functioning in sub-arctic conditions as well. Its low cost is also an advantage.

The problem with diesel is that the machine will need more maintenance if it runs on this fuel. It also impacts the environment due to the risk of spills and its harsher emissions. Biodiesel and emulsified diesel are some of the alternative mixes.


Propane’s selling point is its long shelf life and clean emissions. Storage is easy and it is readily available in many places. Machines that run on propane are low-cost and emission-compliant. The problem with it is that installation can get costly. The fuel system is more complicated than gas and diesel. Propane can also be pricey depending on your location. It also has a shorter life span compared to diesel-run engines.

Natural Gas

Natural gas mixes hydrocarbons and is often a product of gas wells. It’s unlimited, so refuelling is not an issue. It’s also a clean burning fuel type, making it more emission compliant as per the industry standards. Engine runs more quietly on natural gas.

Natural gas isn’t available in many areas. It also doesn’t have a lot of supply during disasters, and machines that run on natural gas are costlier. Gas lines are also dangerous if broken.

Buying a generator involves research and knowledge about the machine. Apart from knowing where to buy a machine, you also need to know certain specifics about it, including the fuel that it runs on. It’s best that you know these things before you buy an engine so you can make an informed decision.

About the Author

As a psychology professor at a university in Texas. Athrun also teaches at a personality development institute in the same state.