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The importance of Annual Fuel Testing 

23 Nov 2016, Posted by McPherson Oil in General

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Many companies with storage tanks for fuel end up not using the full amount that they had planned to for the year. This leaves them wondering if the fuel is still good. Just how does the fuel change? There are a number of markers that can be identified to determine the condition of fuel. Fuel producers state that you shouldn’t store fuel for more than 6-9 months. Besides degradation, tanks can become contaminated with water especially if they are below ground or lids aren’t secured correctly.

The bottom line is that you need to know the quality of the fuel you are storing so that it doesn’t damage equipment. This makes it’s valuable to have a fuel partner that tests the fuel as part of its fuel services. Testing according to ASTM certifications is also important, since it is the industry standard.

Here are some things that annual fuel testing will determine.

What Can You Find Out Through Annual Fuel Testing?

Ceatane Number 

The ceatane number is an indicator of how well diesel will run in diesel engines. It is made up of the distillation value combined with density. The higher the number, the smoother, quieter, and sometime more efficient the engine will run.

Water and Sediment

Water and sediment are problems present in any tank. Water can come from condensation in the fuel tank or from outside water contamination. Water can corrode fuel system parts and cause fuel filter plugging, and power loss. Water can also damage fleet engines by causing the fuel injector tips to explode.

Microbial Contamination

Tests the number of microbes in the fuel. Diesel is an organic fuel and is a great environment for fungi, yeast, and bacteria. There are 27 varieties of bacteria that affect a diesel engine. They build up on steel surfaces causing corrosion. The use of biocide can help prevent problems due to microbial contamination.

What Issues Are Revealed Through Annual Fuel Testing?

Flash Point

The flash point is important because it determines what temperature fuel will ignite in an engine. A skewed flash point shows that there may be contamination. It also can affect safety of diesel storage.

Cloud Point

This test determines when temperature crystals form in the fuel, making it cloudy. At that point a ten-degree drop will cause the fuel to begin to gel, gumming up the engine. Therefore, this test is especially important during wintertime. A truck will quit running when fuel gels in the lines. Staying ahead of fuel deterioration with regular testing will ensure long life for your fleet for years to come. Your fuel will be ready to use when you need it. This will help your company avoid losing your valuable resource of fuel. McPherson Oil is your partner for all of your fuel services. Our experienced team can help you plan delivery schedules so have the right amount of fuel when you need it. Contact us today to find out how we can meet your fuel needs.    


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