What You Need to Know About Storing Diesel Fuel
With unpredictable fluctuations in diesel fuel prices, buying diesel in bulk has grown to be a popular option for many. Despite this proving to be beneficial financially, there are still costs to be incurred when leaving diesel fuel unused, in storage. Most importantly, there are risks for fuel degradation, if left to sit in bad conditions.
When Does Diesel Fuel Start to go Bad?
Diesel fuel is a carbon-based petrochemical and naturally starts a process of oxidation once it leaves the refinery. Without diesel fuel additives, diesel can go bad in as little as 30 days before the oxidation becomes burdensome, producing deposits that can be detrimental to fuel injectors, fuel lines, and other system components which will damage fuel economy and performance.
With fuel additives, diesel can be stored for six months to one year without significant fuel degradation if it’s kept clean, cool, and dry. However, it’s important to note that the storage life of any fuel varies depending on its condition; if it was purchased clean and dry from a reliable supplier, if the appropriate fuel quality and stability had been achieved using additives, and if the fuel had been regularly tested, maintained and polished through portable filters.
Does the Storage Tank for the Diesel Fuel Need Maintaining?
The maintenance of the storage tanks is just as important. It’s recommended that you keep the amount of empty space inside your storage tank to a minimum to prevent an accumulation of moisture. To comply with emissions regulations, most new blends of diesel contain biodiesel which tends to have a higher level of water in it. If it’s not separated from the fuel, the water can make its way through the system and into the fuel injectors. If you’re interested in learning more about biodiesel and its role in reducing greenhouse gases, you should take a look at our Green D+ fuel.
Where Should a Diesel Generator be Stored?
Diesel generator sets are typically used in places without connection to a power grid, or as an emergency power back-up should mains electricity fail. Accurate sizing of diesel generators is therefore critical to avoid low-load (which can lead to wet stacking) or a power shortage.
A consideration to make when storing your diesel fuel safely is that it’s kept in an isolated area. If the tank is above ground, you should consider a canopy or other form of enclosure to keep moisture out and reduce the amount of sun getting to your tank. If the tank is located below the generator set, ensure it’s positioned on a raised surface to enable easy and safe access.
How Can Diesel Fuel Be Maintained?
The use of biocides and stability treatments can extend the lifespan of your fuel. Biocides tackle any bacteria growth which blocks harmful sediments from forming. Fuel stability treatments prevent the diesel from breaking down on a chemical level. Fuel polishing can also be used as an instrument for cleaning diesel fuel. Fuel is drawn from the storage tank by a pump system and circulated through a series of filters that remove any water and particulates.
Ensure your tank is kept full to minimize the amount of condensation space in the tank, reducing the quantity of water. Diesel fuel treatments can also be used to demulsify or separate water from the fuel.