Prolonging Fuel Storage Life


Making Your Fuel Last Longer

In order to ensure that your diesel fuel lasts as long as possible, important measures need to be taken. Here’s a list that you can follow for prolonging fuel storage life:

  • Ensure that the fuel is not in contact with any surfaces containing zinc, copper, or compounds containing those metals (e.g. brass). If such metals are present, a metal deactivator additive may help.
  • Establish a regular fuel maintenance program to ensure that water and dirt is removed from storage tanks. This will also prevent any fungus from growing.
  • Water should be drained weekly from the storage tanks. The frequency can be extended if the tanks show no tendency to collect water, but should be done at least monthly.
  • Tanks should be kept full to reduce the space for water to condense. Maintaining tanks at half-full increases the water build-up and promotes corrosion in the top half of the tank. Most water will come from condensation as the tank breathes. The rate at which water collects will depend on local climate, and will be higher in hot, humid coastal areas.
  • Tanks should have a well-defined low point where water will collect and can be drained (i.e. cone down bottoms.)
  • Establish a system for filtering the contents of the main storage tank through a re-circulating filter system. This can be made automatic, and will reduce the potential for problems by removing sediments and gums. The filters should be checked and changed at regular intervals. When the filter change interval reaches a certain frequency, then the fuel should be changed over.
  • Tanks should be emptied and cleaned at least once every 10 years, or more frequently if there is a major contamination.
  • Ensure that the fuel supplied conforms to a recognized specification, and ensure that the fuel matches the winter cloud point for the area to avoid filter blocking by wax drop out in cold weather.
  • Always purchase fuel to replenish stocks in the winter season April – August. This will ensure that the fuel will not cause wax problems, whatever season it is used.
  • Obtain assurances from the supplier that all components are fully refined to promote stability.
  • Establish a monitoring program where samples are taken at regular intervals to monitor fuel condition. Clean Fuels can examine samples at the site visually for evidence of haziness, sediment, or darkening. Clean Fuels also sends samples to an independent third-party lab for testing.
  • Regular turnover of fuel. If possible, plan fuel usage so that it will all be used within 1-5 years and replaced with fresh fuel.

Clean Fuels Associates can help your company maintain and monitor your mission-critical facilities generators, ensuring that your lights will remain on, even if the power goes out.