10 tips to protect your diesel fuel from cold weather
With our first week of sustained cold temperatures, take the time today to protect your diesel fuel and filters from the cold weather. PEAK Commercial & Industrial has some of the best diesel anti-gel technologies available in the market; however, there are no guarantees fuel will not gel up, especially with these overnight, arctic-like low temperatures.
To prevent frozen filters, take a look at your practices and fuel quality to ensure the right processes and additives are in place to reduce the risk of fuel gelling.
Here are 10 top troubleshooting questions and answers. 1. What temperature did it reach at the location?
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Anti-gel can depress the cold filter plugging point (CFPP) by up to 30ºF points, depending on how the diesel was refined. In some fuels, it will depress it less and some will depress it more. It depends on the wax content and how the fuel was made.
2. Where was the untreated diesel fuel purchased from?
Good to know the terminal, brand and if it was winterized beforehand would be helpful. Most terminals report the fuel’s cloud point as well.
3. How much biodiesel was in the fuel?
You may not know if the fuel has less than 5% biodiesel (B5), but should know if it is higher than B5. Higher biodiesel blends may vary the overall fuel’s CFPP.
4. What was the treat rate?
The treat rate should be on the label as well. If the bottle states “1:400”, then one gallon of additive will treat 400 gallons of diesel.
5. What’s the cloud-point as indicated by the fuel jobber who delivered the fuel?
If the fuel is cloudy it
does not mean it cannot flow through the filters. However, it is close to becoming an issue. Also, adding additives to a cloudy fuel will not work…it is too late. The additive cannot impact the shape of the wax crystals effectively. It is important to add additives at least 10ºF above the fuel’s cloud point. 6. At what temperature was the anti-gel added to the fuel? Was it splash blended or just added to the fuel already in the tank?
If the additive was applied to the fuel tank a day before the temperature dropped, there is a strong possibility un-additivated fuel will be in the tank beforehand, increasing the chance the additive was diluted. If fuel was not splashed on top of the additive while being added to the tank, then the additive may not have been properly mixed. It is important to additivate fuel throughout the winter season even during cold-spells. When you add additive to a fuel tank, please add the diesel right after so the fuel and additive are blended together.
7. Was the additive applied to the fuel storage tank or truck’s tank?
It would help to understand the risk of un-additivated fuel in the tank before the additives were applied.
8. Any water issues?
Water can freeze in fuel lines and fuel filters impacting the ability for the fuel to flow properly.
9. What filter sizes are on the equipment?
If filters were not switched to larger microns (i.e. 25 micron) then the smaller holes are more likely to trap wax particles that normally would have passed through. Once again cloudy fuel should continue to flow if the right filters are in place and that the ambient temperature is above the fuel’s cold filter plugging point.
10. How long did the fuel sit in the tank during cold temperatures?
Wax is heavier than fuel. So, if the fuel sat idle for 48 hours or more in the tank, then wax that came out of the solution, would slowly settle to the bottom. And, if fuel was pulled from the bottom of the tank, then that fuel would include the accumulated wax.
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