Pros and Cons of Common Fuel Sources for Your Business’s Steam Generator

Steam generators are often quick and easy to install in an industrial setting. They provide energy through heating a feedwater pump that converts the water into steam. These generators can burn a variety of fuel sources. Decide which one is the right fit for your business based on your budget, needs, and facility layout. Steam generators can vary in size and are designed to fit easily into your factory’s existing setup.

Natural Gas

This type of fuel can be piped directly into your facility. It does not produce as much soot as traditional oils and also has no smell. A steam generator that uses natural gas tends to be more efficient which cuts down on excess costs and puts more focus on your industrial output.


Don’t confuse natural gas with propane. Propane is actually an extract from the liquid components of natural gas. Propane generates more heat than its gaseous sibling but is often more expensive as a result. The actual costs of propane and gas do rise and fall from year to year.

Light Oil

Is there really such a thing as “light” oil? Yes. The term refers to the oil’s relative density. The American Petroleum Institute (API) classifies these in terms of the oil’s relationship to water. Oils with an API Gravity index of 10 or more it is lighter than water. Light oils are produced with a simple distillation at a refinery. This process makes light oil a less expensive fuel option. The more liquid the oil, however, the more flammable and toxic it becomes. They have a very intense scent as well.

Heavy Oil

Heavy oil has not gone through the same refinement process as light oil. It is considered more “pure” and therefore more valuable. Heavy crude is beginning to go out of vogue because of its negative environmental impact. The Environmental Protection Agency names heavier oils as either Class C or D. Oils in this class have a lower toxicity but are much more difficult to clean up if spilled. That could negatively affect your company’s reputation. Heavy oil types include diesel and gasoline. They are “sour” crudes because they have a higher percentage of sulfur. So-called “sweet” crudes only contain about 0.5% sulfur.

Manufacturing facilities and other industries need fuel to operate. Compare efficiency with cost and environmental factors of each fuel type before you complete the installation process.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.