Definition of cetane number in US English:

cetane number


  • A measure of the ignition properties of diesel fuel relative to cetane as a standard.

    • ‘Biodiesel has a higher cetane number than petrodiesel because of its oxygen content.’
    • ‘I'm sure the big automakers could work out the issues with low cetane numbers once low sulfur diesel hit the market, but only if they actually take some risk and actually make fuel efficient cars.’
    • ‘Increasing the cetane number of the fuel can decrease the amount of knock by shortening the ignition delay.’
    • ‘Fuels with good ignition quality give short ignition delays and are assigned high cetane numbers.’
    • ‘The higher the cetane number of a diesel fuel, the better the ignition and combustion and the softer and better the concentricity.’
    • ‘A fuel with a higher cetane number will shorten the time during which unburned fuel is emitted to the atmosphere.’
    • ‘It generally does not provide an accurate indication of cetane number if the fuel contains cetane improving additives or for non-petroleum-based alternative fuels.’
    • ‘Also, animal fats tend to produce biodiesels with higher cetane numbers and, again on average, less NOx.’
    • ‘A higher cetane number is normally achieved by using commercial nitrate based cetane additives and/or by more intensive refining of petroleum in the production of diesel fuel.’
    • ‘However, cetane numbers from 55 to 60, which reduce emissions substantially, can be achieved in improved fuels.’
    • ‘A diesel fuel with high cetane number greatly contributes to the engine performance, fuel economy, more silent engine operation and easier starting.’
    • ‘Higher cetane numbers may be required for future high speed engines but this will depend on combustion chamber design and particularly, air swirl within the chamber.’
    • ‘The higher the cetane number of the fuel, the easier it is for the fuel to undergo spontaneous ignition when subjected to the elevated pressures and temperatures in the combustion chamber.’
    • ‘For example, the cetane numbers of neat methanol and ethanol are about 3 and 8, respectively; No.2 diesel fuel has a cetane number in the 40 to 60 range.’
    • ‘Fuels with high cetane numbers burn more quickly and more completely, resulting in smoother running engines with less power lag, reduced emissions and easier engine starting.’
    • ‘Higher cetane numbers produce improved driveability, reduced emissions and black smoke and the driver of the vehicle can feel the power difference a quality fuel with a high cetane number produces.’
    • ‘Palm Oil and Tallow derived biodiesels have the best cetane numbers.’
    • ‘Euro III diesel has a minimum cetane number (a standard measure of ignition quality) of 51, up from 48, while the corresponding petrol has an octane number (an ‘anti-knock’ index) of 91 instead of 88.’
    • ‘Higher cetane numbers are usually associated with smoother running engines and ease of engine start-up in cold climates.’