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Category Archives: Diesel Fuel

Diesel Fuel

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Information About Diesel Fuel

Diesel fuel is a broad term used for any liquid fuel that can be used in diesel engines.  The most common and oldest form is petrodiesel, which is produced from the fractional distillate of crude oil.

In the past few years, non-petroleum based alternative fuels such as biodiesel, biomass to liquid – BTL –, or gas to liquid – GTL –, have seen a surge in popularity and use. This is because of the new clean air initiatives set forth by President Obama and states with an overabundance of harmful smog like California.

Types of Diesel Fuel

There are many types of diesel fuel on the market today, from the standard petrodiesel to more recent, “green” varieties.

  • Petrodiesel – The oldest and most common form of diesel fuel.  It is a petroleum based fuel derived from crude oil.
  • Synthetic Diesel – Synthetic diesel can be made from any carbonaceous material, including biomass, biogas, natural gas, coal, and more.
  • Biodiesel – Biodiesel is produced from animal fats and vegetable oils.

Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_fuel for even more information about diesel types, history, engines, and more.

Diesel Fuel Storage

Diesel fuel storage in quantity is done in either aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) or underground storage tanks (USTs).  In both cases, storage tanks must adhere to strict regulations to ensure the safety of the individuals operating the tanks and the environment.

ASTs are preferable to USTs where possible because they offer easy access, testing, maintenance, and cleanup should the need arise.

Diesel Fuel Storage Requirements

  • Tanks should be located at least 40 feet from buildings in areas that are free of weeds and other combustible materials.
  • Tanks must be built to the Nation Fire Prevention Association’s standards.
  • Tanks must be fire, impact, and ballistics rated.

Long Term Storage Of Diesel Fuel

According to the AMSCA, the maximum time diesel can be stored in useable condition is:

  • Over 12 months at around 20°C.
  • 6-12 months at around 30°C or higher.

To maximize the shelf life of petrodiesel there are a number of things that can be done:

  • Never allow diesel fuel to come into contact with zinc, copper, or alloys containing these metals.  They leech into diesel and cause unstable molecules that are detrimental to engines.
  • Check for moisture frequently and remove it as soon as it is detected. Fungus and bacteria will grow if moisture is allowed to remain in tanks, rendering the fuel useless.
  • Minimize exposure to excessive heat which accelerates the degradation of petrodiesel.

Diesel Fuel General Storage Tips

  • Store diesel fuel in a cool, dry place away from heat and direct sunlight.
  • Keep tanks full at all times.  Partially filled tanks leave more space for moisture to condense and collect, which can lead to fuel problems and tank corrosion over time.
  • Double wall, steel, aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) are preferable to underground storage tanks (USTs).  ASTs are easier to install, maintain, repair, and mitigate any leakages that may occur.
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