It’s Never Too Late To Prepare For Winter Fuel Quality
Sorry to say, but winter is only just around the corner and the winter fuel specifications are about 10 weeks off. Recall that the transition from summer to winter grades can lead to horrendous handling issues if summer grade fuel is still around when the first cold snap hits.
More and more fuel distributors and equipment operators are now using exocet® Anti Wax not only to enhance the low temperature performance of winter grade fuel but also to ensure that winter grade fuel specifications are being met by the end of September. Our product now has MAN Diesel and Rolls Royce approval. Winter diesel/gas oil runs from 16th November through to 15th March the following year.
Remember the winters of 2010 and last year – don’t get caught out with waxing gas oil and diesel again this year. Prepare early and dose your fuel with exocet® Anti Wax from the end of September onwards. Don’t forget, prevention is the only way!
exocet®’s Anti-Wax is used to improve the cold flow and handling properties of gas oil and diesel. It also inhibits the formation of wax crystals and reduces the potential for filter plugging.
The winter specification for gas oil calls for a CFPP of -12oC (this is a measure of its useful operating temperature). Last winter we measured fuel with CFPPs in the range -6 to -8oC, again suggesting that some fuel was being supplied off-spec.
- Prevents the formation of wax crystal
- Reduces filter plugging
- Boost’s fuels resistance to waxing to -28⁰C
exocet® Anti-Wax is typically added at the rate of 1 litre of additive to 1,000 litres of fuel. The additive must be used as preventative measure and will not work if the fuel is already waxed. Fuel-specific tests need to be carried out if a minimum operability temperature is required.
An example of a tractor fuel filter with waxy fuel (left)
It is also time to consider exocet® Fuel Store Plus if you have fuel stored in equipment tanks or in bulk that will stand over the winter with no turnover. The storage stability of fuel is being reduced. That is, the ability of blended fuel to remain homogeneous and not separate into its constituent parts is adversely affected and we have seen a couple incidences of ‘phase separation’. This also means that the shelf life of a fuel is much reduced, exacerbated by the addition of FAME to diesel and gas oil.
A fuel’s shelf life can be increased by the proper use of fuel antioxidants and stability agents. exocet®’s Fuel Store Plus product combines such components along with a fuel soluble biocide to ward against the growth of microbiological contamination and is ideal for fuel and fuel systems that are dormant for periods of time (e.g. over winter).
- It is a bespoke fuel additive based on an industry recognised, widely used antioxidant chemistry and containing a biocide
- It markedly slows down the oxidation (ageing) process
- It protects against microbial infestations (“the fuel bug”)
- It prevents corrosion of wetted ferrous metals
exocet® Fuel Store Plus is intended for use in bulk storage, but can also be added to the vehicle/machinery tank. 1 litre treats 4,000 litres of fuel.
The renewable content of fuel seems to be varying both regionally and from time to time. We have analysed fuel which is FAME-free and fuel which has 4% by volume FAME content. The average now seems to be between 2-3% FAME content.
We have received reports of fuel hose failing on both diesel and petrol and it must be assumed that this is due to the renewable content in both fuels (i.e. FAME and ethanol respectively). Really the only solution is to select the most compatible hose material or protect the internal parts by using a fuel additive programme.
For more information please contact Fuel Additive Science Technologies to discuss meeting your needs and requirements.