When long-term fuel storage for diesel tankers enters the equation, it is necessary to consider issues such as compliance with regulations and chemical instability of the fuel. Here you will find some tips to extend the life of your fuel reserves and prevent excess wastage. Always handle fuel and other combustibles with extreme caution.
Determine the storage life
One thing that you need to understand at the outset is the storage life of any fuel. This will ultimately be dependent upon the specific conditions and quality of the fuel. The key to fuel longevity is keeping it cool and dry. The best you can hope for is fuel storage up to, and slightly beyond, twelve months if the fuel is maintained below 20 degrees Celsius. If the temperature is kept higher than 30 degrees Celsius, the useable condition of fuel is between 6-12 months. To keep it in storage for longer than one year and ensure it remains useable, the fuel would need to be treated with stabilisers and biocides. It is important to realise that as diesel ages, sediment and gum forms in the fuel which can block filters and cause the engine of your vehicle to stop working.
Avoid water contamination
Following the proper rules and regulations for storage of diesel is in your best interest. The establishment of guidelines are determined for a good reason and will
maintain the prevention of water contamination and other issues. Fuel is essentially hygroscopic which can attract water molecules. Watered down fuel can become home to algae which can plug filters and regulators. Regularly check the structure of the tanks, especially if they are above ground, to avoid contamination from happening. Always double check the seals and make sure they are shut tight.
Buy fuel from high turnover sources
To bypass purchasing diesel with water condensation, don’t buy from sources that have a low diesel fuel turnover. This will ensure that you are getting clean fuel from the outset with no increased risk of algae or unnecessary blockages to your vehicle. It is best to purchase fuel during the Australian cool weather season of April to August to deter wax problems.
Keep diesel tanks as full as possible
Keeping your fuel storage tank full will mean that there is literally no airspace to create condensation. This will make sure that the fuel is not watered down and safe to use at all times. Regularly refill the tank with diesel, so this does not happen. Maintaining tanks half full will increase the chance of water build up and promote corrosion in the upper portion of the container. Regularly turn the fuel over, so it remains relatively fresh at all times.
Follow state and federal regulations
Ensuring that your fuel storage tank meets compliance is necessary to prevent fuel wastage. Store correctly in the proper tanks and never mix fuels. If your fuel comes in contact with zinc, copper or metal, it will react to form unstable compounds. If metal compounds are found, a metal deactivator can be used to eliminate the elements as a last resort. Dust and dirt trace elements also have the potential to destabilise fuel. Build a regular fuel maintenance program around your schedule to make sure that water and dirt are removed from storage tanks regularly.
Treating fuel with chemicals such as fuel stabiliser treatments, fungicides and biocides will protect the lifespan extending it to as much as five years. Stabilisers will remove water, prevent corrosion and also act as an algaecide to protect the fuel from living organisms. Biocides, fungicides and stabilisers are the only real ways to combat major fuel storage issues and prevent the breakdown of fuel from outside influences. Stabilisers will also work to clean carburettors and fuel injectors and protect your engine from rust and corrosion.
It is imperative that storage tanks are emptied and cleaned at least every ten years. If there is a major contamination, the tank will need to be cleaned immediately after the occurrence. Avoid the storage of fuel improperly to elude serious safety issues and maintain compliance with governmental regulations.