Cleaning Diesel Fuel Tanks And Polishing Fuel

We’ve talked about the importance of keeping your diesel fuel free of contaminants, but what happens when you neglect tank and fuel maintenance? At that point, it’s best to clean the storage tank, and polish the fuel. Today, we’re going to explain what exactly is involved with cleaning diesel fuel tanks and polishing fuel.

Cleaning a diesel fuel storage tank involves four basic steps:

  1. Pumping the water, sludge, and debris out from the tank bottom, and properly disposing of it.
  2. Fuel is filtered with a three-stage process.
  3. While filtering, chemical cleaners are introduced into the fuel tank to remove any varnish or sludge from inside the tank.
  4. Fuel is treated with a combination of chemicals to enhance life and performance. These include (but are not limited to) fungicide, algaecide, and stabilizer.

What is fuel polishing?

In addition to cleaning the tank and filtering your fuel, there’s another step that you can take to prolong the life of your diesel: Fuel polishing. Fuel polishing is a technical cleaning process that removes water, sediment, and microbial contamination. Polishing is different from filtration. Fuel filtration works by separating suspended particles of water and sludge from fuel by passing everything through a series of porous membranes.

Some filter media will absorb water, but not all filter media works this way. Fuel polishing, on the other hand, uses centrifuges, coalescers, and filters to remove any particulate matter that is non-combustible. Fuel is run through a machine at a high pressure and high volume, and at an exceedingly high filter level. Chemical tank cleaners are introduced into the fuel,  Since water is heavier than fuel, the centrifuges and coalescers are effective at removing water. Water-blocking filters are then employed to handle any last little bits of suspended water in the fuel.

Fuel polishing has the added benefit of keeping your fuel within industry standards. This is a concern due to the fact that if fuel is cycled through filters too many times, it can potentially be pushed out of spec, causing engine damage. Replacing fuel filters may temporarily fix the issue of contaminated fuel, but it’s a Band-Aid over a larger problem. Tank cleaning and fuel polishing get to the root of the issue, eliminating any potential future headaches.

Do you have further questions about cleaning diesel fuel tanks and polishing fuel? Is your tank in need of maintenance? Contact Clean Fuels today.