Fuel is an investment that needs to be protected. Investing in fuel storage tanks can be a great way of ensuring that you meet your fleet's fueling needs at all times. However, one of the issues that you are likely to face when storing diesel fuel is contamination. Contamination can lead to fuel degradation, premature engine failure and decreased performance and damage to your fuel tanks.
To protect your engines and diesel tanks from degradation, you need to ensure that the stored diesel fuel is clean at all times. Read on for insights on some of the top diesel contaminants that you may encounter and how to protect your fuel and keep it clean during storage.
Diesel fuel contaminants
There are two primary sources of diesel contamination that you should be worried about during storage: water and microorganisms.
Water: All types of fuel, diesel included, contain some amount of water dissolved in it. Unlike gas, diesel is less refined, and this makes it hold a larger amount of water. However, only a small amount of the water dissolves in the fuel. The rest is considered free water, and it remains suspended in the diesel. Free water reduces the fuel's energy, and this affects its performance. Also, since the water is suspended in the fuel, it can attract dirt and particles which are also fuel contaminants.
Microorganisms: Microorganisms are introduced in diesel due to poor storage and maintenance of the fuel tanks. Water in diesel is the primary cause of microbial growth as it can introduce bacteria and fungi in the fuel. The waste that's excreted by these microorganisms clogs up the engine and causes it to shut down.
How to protect diesel from contamination
Keep water away
The first step to protecting your diesel fuel from contamination during storage is keeping water away. Water in itself is a primary contaminant, and it also introduces microorganisms which further contaminate the fuel. Proper maintenance of your fuel tanks is the best way to keep them safe from water and microorganism contamination.
Treat your tanks
Regular treating of your diesel storage tanks can help in remedying contamination. Treating prevents water accumulation and kills microorganisms that may be present in the tank. Even if you feel that your fuel is contaminant-free, it is crucial to test it regularly for water and microbes so that you can avoid the costly effects of these contaminants.
Filter diesel before use
Finally, run your fuel through a filtration system before using it in your engines. Filtering the fuel will get rid of dirt and other particles which are also equally harmful to your fleet.
Observe these things when storing diesel fuel or doing diesel tanks hire to avoid contamination and make sure that your fuel is clean for use at all times.