Fuel Filtration vs. Fuel Polishing


Before reviewing the differences between fuel filtration vs. fuel polishing it is important to mention one crucial note: In particular fuels, there are suspended particles at the molecular level are a vital part of the fuel’s chemical makeup and must be present for the fuel’s optimal health. That said, let us now move on to the major differences between the two processes. You will see how this plays a factor upon reading.

Fuel Filtration

In the simplest terms, filtering is the process of pumping the fuel out of the tanks, running it through a series of filters, then pumping the clean fuel back into the tanks. Filtration addresses the issue of removing any and all large particles and foreign objects. Combustible contaminants are removed, which seems beneficial, but, there are molecular components within the contaminants that are essential to diesel fuel’s proper function. One being a lubricating component. That is why you need fuel filtration experts to properly attend to the fuel.

What about water? How could filtering remove a fluid from a fluid? Particular filters absorb water while allowing fuel to pass, but they are not completely effective, and you should be wary of the efficiency of removing water through filtration alone.

Fuel Polishing

Fuel polishing is the removal of water, sediment, non-combustible particulate matter and microbial contamination below levels stated in ASTM D975 (Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils) while resuspending combustible particulate matter to maintain ASTM standards for BTU value, lubricity, and cetane.

Fuel polishing will use a combination centrifuges, coalescers, filters to remove non-combustible particulate matter such as sand, dust, cigarette wrappers, even insects from fuel. The fundamental breakdown of the process is fuel is pumped out and spun within the centrifuges, breaking up the sludge and contaminated fuel clumps. The alien material will remain large enough to be caught in the filters, but will allow the molecular necessities to stay in the fuel, thus improving the overall integrity of the fuel.

What about water? Water is heavier than fuel, therefore, while in the centrifuges and coalescers, the water and fuel are separated and passed through a water blocking filters which will capture any remaining water.

In conclusion, the difference between fuel filtration vs. fuel polishing is that filtration merely removes any and all solids from the fuel, even essential molecular components that may have mixed with contaminants. Fuel polishing addresses the issue of removing contaminants while allowing the key components to remain, thus improving the overall health of your fuel.

Finally, it is important to note that filtration is necessary, but needs to be in conjunction with total fuel polishing for best results. If you have questions about what your fuel tank needs or the process, contact Clean Fuel Associates today.