The ASTM International-D975 Standard Specifications for Diesel Fuel Oils provides guidelines for long-term storage of diesel fuel as well as other information for consumers of distillate fuels. This Standard outlines the practices necessary for successful long-term fuel storage which include attention to fuel selection, storage conditions, and monitoring of properties prior to and during storage. A copy of the Standard may be purchased and downloaded from ASTM International at http://www.astm.org.
Following are some topics of the guidelines included in the Standard:
Fuel Selection– Certain products are more suitable for long-term storage. Stability properties depend on the crude source, processing, and additional refinery treatment. It is advisable to discuss storage requirements with the supplier.
Fuel Additives– Fuel additives can be used to prolong the life of your stored fuel. Apply during the early weeks of storage for maximum benefit. The use of additives depends on fuel stability properties, which vary. Metal deactivators prevent the fuel from reacting with the metal tank it is contained in. Biocides and fungicides destroy bacterial and fungal growth.
Tests for Fuel Quality– Several types are available: the Clear & Bright Test can be done on-site by a trained professional and we can also send samples to the lab for third-pary analysis.
Fuel Monitoring– Periodic sampling to measure fuel quality is an integral part of a successful program. Electronic monitoring systems are available, but tanks should be checked regularly in the case of faulty sensors. Replacing aged fuel with fresh product at established intervals (every 1-5 years) is also desirable.
Fuel Storage Conditions– Contamination levels in fuel can be minimized by keeping tanks free of water. Provisions should be made to drain water on a scheduled basis to prevent corrosion and microbiological growth. Other conditions affecting fuel quality include humidity, exposure to extreme temperatures, and the material and condition of the tank and pipeline.
Use of Degraded Fuels– Depending on system requirements, mild-to-moderately degraded fuel can be consumed in a normal way, but with possibility of rapid nozzle or injector fouling. Filters and other cleanup equipment may require increased attention and maintenance over time. Professional consultation is recommended for use of fuels containing very large quantities of fuel degradation products. Draining of the sediment layer is possible with attention given to quality of fuel above the sediment layer to avoid severe operational problems.