Not using your diesel fuel for extended periods of time? Use these tips to extend your diesel fuel shelf life throughout your storage plans!
There are many reasons you might want to store fuel. Maybe you’re a doomsday prepper who needs loads of fuel for your generators?
Or perhaps you’re stocking up when you get a good opportunity.
Fuel prices are constantly fluctuating, and the perfect time to start storing it is when the prices drop. But what exactly is the diesel fuel shelf life, and how do you expand that lifespan?
Here are nine tips on how to store your diesel fuel and extend its shelf life.
1. Expect¬†a Long Diesel Fuel Shelf Life
If this is your first time storing fuel, you should know that diesel stores much better and for longer than gasoline.¬†However, the diesel fuel lifetime depends greatly on storage conditions.
The diesel of the past could store for years without a problem, but modern diesel is ultra-low sulfur. That means lower emissions but also lower shelf life.
If stored well, the diesel fuel lifespan can last over a year, and there have been reports of much older diesel being used successfully. However, using expired diesel in your generators or other equipment can risk ruining them.
2. Use a Clean Tank or Drum
Before using¬†a diesel fuel storage tank or drum, you need to make sure that it’s as clean as possible. If stored incorrectly, your diesel won’t last much more than half a year without going bad.
To¬†prep an old oil drum properly, you first have to drain it and spray the inside with a high-pressure hose. Make sure to store whatever oil and water runoff comes out in plastic containers.
Use a solvent to remove the remaining oil residue and rinse again with water. After the barrels have dried, they should be ready to store new fuel.
And remember to dispose of the oil waste as designated by your local hazardous waste experts.
3. Filter Out Old Diesel
A way to make old diesel last longer is to filter it before use. Filtering helps clean out impurities for situations where you might not be able to get fresh diesel.
As you let the tank sit still, sediment and sludge will sink to the bottom and can be drained out using the valve at the bottom. You can then use a diesel fuel filter with a hydrophobic coating to stop water and sediment from going into your machines.
4. Make it Air-tight
In order to eliminate any excess factors that can cause the quality of your stored diesel to shift, you want to store it as air-tight as possible. In the case of an oil drum, that simply means filling it up as much as possible, leaving no excess space.
Air getting into the tanks can carry bacteria or affect the stored temperature. It can also let water into the tank, which¬†is the main reason for microbial growth.
5. Keep Storage Tank Cool
Fuel oxidation is a natural occurrence that degrades the properties of the fuel. In order to prevent this from happening, it’s important to keep the tank¬†cool.
Preferably, the fuel tank would be¬†around 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but it should be fine anywhere below 85 degrees. Keeping the tank cool also inhibits microbial growth, which can cause a number of issues.
One way to manage your fuel tank’s temperature is by storing it underground or with a roof to keep the sun off.
6. Fuel Treatment
Treating your fuel is essential for maintaining its quality. Fuel treatment stabilizes the diesel and prevents a chemical breakdown, such as the aforementioned oxidation.
It’s important to use the appropriate type of treatment, as¬†gasoline and diesel are chemically different and require different formulas.
Although there are special types of treatments, you shouldn’t need anti-microbial properties as long as you are storing your fuel correctly.
7. Minimize Water Exposure
As previously mentioned, excess water mixed with diesel fuel can cause issues in storage and when it gets used.
In storage, it can promote microbial growth and can cause damage if injected into a system. This is because newer fuel systems work at high pressures, and even a single drop of water could blow the tip-off.
To minimize any water issues, it’s important to keep the diesel fuel storage tank full, use treatments to separate the water, and use a water separator filter. You should also cover your tank to¬†keep water from it.
8. Halt Microbial Growth
Microbial growth in your diesel fuel can cause multiple issues, including plugged filters, fuel flow problems, increased rates of corrosion, and injector malfunctions. All of this can greatly affect your diesel quality and damage your machinery.
To prevent this, you should check tank bottoms for water every month at first,¬†and move down to at least twice a year if there is no water found. You should regularly drain any water found and use specific treatment if needed.
In the event of microbial growth, you can invest in multipoint water pumping, fuel polishing, and tank cleaning services.
9. Monitor It
The most important step of all for extending your diesel fuel lifespan is to monitor it regularly. You could do everything right in setting up your fuel tank, but you can never account for human error.
Instead of using fuel that has gone bad, if you monitor the tank and clean out your used tanks, you shouldn’t have any issues.
If you don’t take care of your diesel storage, you could have issues with moderate or severe corrosion, which can lead to fuel leakages.
On the off-chance that you notice fuel leaking out, you should notify your implementing agency immediately and do what you can to minimize the damage.
Use Your Diesel With the Best Equipment
There’s no point in taking care of your diesel fuel if you’re still using old generators or faulty engines. Check out our stock online for new and used equipment.
We also buy and rent for your long-term or short-term needs.
Please contact us with any questions you might have about your diesel fuel shelf life or inquiries on our inventory.