Truth About Fuel Separation  

The Truth About Fuel Phase Separation

In the United States, most fuel is a blend of gasoline and ethanol. While ethanol has its good points -- it’s a renewable additive, raises octane levels, and helps to lower carbon emissions -- it also increases the chances of “phase separation” in fuel supplies, at all levels in the supply chain.

What is Phase Separation in Fuel?

When a fuel tank becomes contaminated with water, the ethanol will attach to the water molecules, and the gasoline/ethanol mixture “separates” into two distinct layers. The gasoline will make up the top layer, and the ethanol and water combine to create the bottom layer. Occasionally, you may even see an additional layer of water below the mixed layer.  For this reason, it is essential to monitor fuel supplies and storage tanks to prevent damage due to water contamination. Clean Fuels Associates Inc. will solve any problems you are experiencing with fuel phase separation.

What Factors Affect Fuel Phase Separation?

Aside from fundamental chemistry, the temperature can play a significant role in causing phase separation.  The warmer the ethanol enhanced fuel gets, the more it is likely to experience phase separation.  This holds true whether the gas/ethanol mixture is in a car, or is stored in a tank.

Why is Fuel Phase Separation a Problem?

When phase separation occurs in a car’s gas tank, you will hear knocking because of the lower octane number when it runs on ethanol-deficient gasoline. Eventually, the car’s engine won’t run at all if the water/ethanol layer is fueling it.  Fuel phase separation can cause severe damage to a vehicle’s engine.

As we mentioned, the separation can occur at any point during transportation or storage.  Once a storage tank has been affected by fuel phase separation, the fuel cannot be used without treatment. 

Are Treatment Solutions Available For Fuel Phase Separation?

Here’s the good news!  Yes… the folks at Clean Fuels Associates can offer a variety of solutions to help with fuel phase separation.  We can work to clean and preserve your tanks.  Clean Fuels Associates provide fuel testing to find out whether separation is apparent and can be treated with filtration.  Count on us to help if you’re having an issue with Fuel Phase Separation.

Contact Clean Fuels to Eliminate Fuel Phase Separation

In our industry, no one wants to deal with contaminated fuel impacted by fuel phase separation. When you need to clean out your boat's fuel tank or have it refueled before you take it on the water, trust Clean Fuels Associates Inc. to have it done quickly, efficiently, and without any hint of fuel phase separation. Clean Fuels also offers fuel tank maintenance for boats in Maryland and across the Eastern Seaboard. When you need our services, Contact Us online or give us a call at 844-694-3230 so we can schedule an inspection and an estimate.