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Did you get caught using diesel fuel as an asphalt solvent? Or are you worried about the danger that diesel poses to your workers and equipment? Regardless, you’re making the right decision to switch to an alternative. Let’s look at why diesel fuel is so bad, and what other options you have in an asphalt solvent.

The downsides of diesel

Everyone has used diesel fuel as an asphalt solvent or asphalt release at least once in their life. It works. In fact, it’s great. Unfortunately, though, diesel fuel has many downsides. There is even a better alternative to it.

Whether it works well or doesn’t, diesel fuel is illegal. For those of you who work government jobs, you know this. The EPA can fine you up to $180,000 for using diesel fuel on a job and you can’t even get a contract in some places if you use it. The cheap cost of diesel fuel is hard to resist, but you would be remiss to ignore the fines and loss of contracts.
Are you familiar with flash point? This term bounces around in conversation a lot in the paving scene. The flash point is the lowest temperature at which vapors from your asphalt solvent can ignite. In the presence of a flame, like a lit cigarette, or extreme heat, like hot asphalt, diesel fuel can catch fire or worse. Not only does this put your workers at risk of serious injury or death, but it can also cost you thousands of dollars in repair.
The evaporation rate is another factor that turns many pavers away from diesel fuel. What happens when you spray diesel on hot metal? It evaporates away. Watch this video to see exactly what we mean:

 

If you want your asphalt release to keep working longer so you don’t have to spray more so often, you don’t want it to evaporate.

The BEST alternative: PavePro

It’s hard to beat diesel. After all, diesel fuel is the “OG” release agent. But after countless years of scientific and on-the-ground paving testing, PavePro has reigned supreme as the best asphalt solvent and asphalt release agent available.

Our customers call it “legal diesel.” Why? Because PavePro works just like diesel, except you won’t find yourself with an EPA fine in hand. PavePro is also a long-lasting release agent and is incredibly effective. It melts right through asphalt, tar, tack, grease, and oil with no hesitation. It cuts through the thickest of buildups and leaves behind a slick oily film that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Not only is it powerful, but PavePro is the safest asphalt solvent too. With a flash point of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, hot mix clocking in at 350 degrees is no problem. PavePro won’t ignite, combust, or cause you any danger. Diesel fuel, on the other hand, has a flash point of only 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

And the EPA is not a worry when it comes to the environment. PavePro is 100% biodegradable and its all-natural ingredients make it a great solution to use on the job site or at the shop. Not to mention, PavePro is also deactivated with a splash of water–so it won’t harm your paint or decals.

PavePro is also a great alternative to diesel fuel because it does not evaporate as its competitors do. It last longer under high heat and will eat through hardened asphalt like no one’s business.

The OK alternative: Citrus

Citrus is another alternative to diesel fuel. Citrus works OK but is oftentimes expensive and not worth the price tag. Will it clean the asphalt off your tools and equipment? Yes, but you’re going to have to use a whole heck of a lot of it.

Aside from its subpar performance, citrus is more dangerous than diesel fuel. With a flash point of 115 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a high potential for things going wrong on the job. Citrus has the lowest flash point of all asphalt solvents and asphalt releases.
The flash point also lends citrus products to evaporating under high heat. As I mentioned earlier, this limits how well citrus is able to perform.

The WORST alternative: Other Petroleum-Based Products

I wouldn’t fall for this trap. If it could get worse than diesel fuel, it’s other petroleum-based products. It is no different.
Just like diesel fuel, petroleum-based asphalt solvents are dangerous for your workers and equipment. Not to mention they are bad for the environment. There are so many other possible options you can choose from that are safer, work better, and last longer.