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Biological Growth

Emergency Back-up Fuel 150 150 Star Oilco

Emergency Back-up Fuel

Do you need your Emergency Back Up generator filled?

Back-up Fuel Tank

We have drivers on the road today. If you need your generator fueled give us a call.

Spring is here and summer is around the corner.  Be prepared for an emergency now.

When was the last time you had your generator filled?

Open an account with Star Oilco today and be prepared for the next power outage.

Recent wind, snow storms and power outages could mean your generators are empty.  Are you prepared for the next emergency?  Did you fill up from the last?  Keeping your back-up generator fueled could be the difference between an inconvenience and a disaster.  Stay ahead of the next emergency and re-fuel now.

Remember that ordering diesel for your generator is a specialized service.

Getting the fuel for your generator or emergency equipment is only one part of the problem.  How you store it can be just as important.  This is why its important to work with a company that can help you.

You want to stabilize and treat your diesel for generators and other back up equipment.

Order fuel treated for long term storage!

Star Oilco is an expert at fueling back-up generators, emergency water pumps, and other long term off-road diesel storage requirements. We understand, that in the Pacific Northwest, biodiesel blending is required by state laws. Bio-diesel will need  an extra layer of care when stored as a back-up fuel.Filling a Generator in the Snow

Most off-road diesels and heating oils are ultra low sulfur diesel containing at least 5% quantity of biodiesel.  That means long term storage requires a proactive approach.  You can’t just hope it works, or wait to see if the fuel will burn after years of storage.

Proper Generator Fuel is a specially treated oxidative stabilized off-road fuel designed to store for years.

Fuel for a backup generator is a specialized product. More than just the fuel, the service itself takes a vendor who understands your needs and can keep you up and running in an emergency.

Generators take off-road diesel, of course, but you want an ultra low sulfur diesel to ensure it works with modern emission systems. Some companies may deliver a higher sulfur heating oil product that looks the same but can foul the emission systems of your equipment.

Beyond just the service provided by a truck and driver, you also want a vendor who offers a fuel stabilizer and biocide for the special long term storage needs of your backup generator. Star Oilco recommends you add a biocide and long term storage stabilizer to your fuel to ensure it is good whenever you need it.

Use additives designed to prolong the life of your emergency diesel fuel.

Biocides prevent the growth of biological activity in the tank. In scenarios whcontaminated_dieselere micro-organisms like algae, bacteria, yeasts, and other bugs are growing in your fuel, biocides can kill this growth. It is still important to remove the residual grit and other contaminants that are the hallmark of bugs growing in your tank. Usually you remove them by filtration or total turn over of the fuel. If your tank absolutely has to be clean, you can contract a tank professional to enter the tank and physically clean the tank bottom or reline the tank with either fiberglass or an epoxy resin.  We use Valvtect Bioguard Plus 6 for generators, emergency water pumps, backup boiler fuel, and other long term storage purposes. This product kills any existing biological growth and stabilizes your fresh diesel fuel for long term storage. Make sure your diesel is ready the next time you need backup power.

Water in diesel destroys fuel quality rapidly. Check your tank for water every fall and spring.

In events where water finds its way into your storage tank, that can also be corrected by pumping the tank bottom. Additionally, you want to put in an absorbent material designed to absorb water and not fuel. If your long term storage tank has water and you are not planning to burn 100% of the fuel in the near future, DO NOT add anything that removes water by distributing into the fuel. Adding a “fuel drier” that actually pushes the water into solution with the diesel will worsen the long term quality of your fuel, not improve it. That water is where bugs find their home to grow in fuel.

Star Oilco will test your fuel at no charge if you have an open account.

Feel free to call us with any questions you may have about long term storage of diesel. Star Oil can also deliver treated diesel ready for long term storage complete with Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel additive to improve the long term storage quality of your fuel. For biocide, we use Valvtect BioGuard fuel microbiocide to kill any possible biological activity and prevent any chance of it starting.

Diesel Testing and Storage in Portland

If you have a long term diesel storage tank and you are in the Portland, Oregon area, we are here to test your fuel.  Make sure your diesel is there for you when disaster strikes.

Tank Testing Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

For more reading on diesel fuel quality assurance:

Fight Humbug in your Diesel Tank (using Valvtect Bioguard Plus 6 to stabalize your stored diesel)

Diesel Fuel Technical Review (an easy to read and free text book on diesel fuel)

Emergency Back Up Generator Fuel Quality (designed to provide a checklist to help Facility Managers keep those back up generators ready for emergency action)

Using Desicant Breathers to keep diesel fuel dry and clean (an introductory primer on desicant breathers and how they can be used to keep long term diesel storage drier and cleaner)

Using Diesel Filters to clean up your diesel fuel quality (an introductory primer on using aggressive filtration in line with diesel fuel dispensing for fuel quality assurance)

What Do I Need to Know About Long Term Diesel Storage? 150 150 Star Oilco

What Do I Need to Know About Long Term Diesel Storage?

Here’s good advice if you are relying on diesel as a back up fuel in the Pacific NW.

[KGVID]https://www.staroilco.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Bugs-Kill-Equipment.mp4[/KGVID]

Now is the time to refill and treat your back up fuel tanks.

Diesel as a back up fuel

Quite a bit of our business at Star Oilco is fueling back-up generators, emergency water pumps, refrigerated trailers and other long term off-road diesel storage requirements. In the Pacific Northwest, biodiesel blending is required by state laws and you need to take an extra duty of care when storing diesel as a back-up fuel.

This means that most off-road diesels and heating oils are ultra low sulfur diesel containing a small quantity of biodiesel.  That means long term storage requires a proactive approach.  You can’t just hope and wait to see what the fuel begins to look after years of storage.

Technical advice from Government Fleet Magazine to help you with storing diesel fuel.

Here is an article from Government Fleet Magazine on the subject which runs through the specifics of long term storage and what causes fuel to degrade when stored.  Government Fleet Magazine – How to Maintain Stored Diesel Fuel.

Star Oilco has also worked up a PDF check list on how to verify if your fuel is in need of freshening or is still in emergency ready shape.  If you are a customer of ours, we will deliver a laminated card version to keep next to your back up generator. If you are not a customer (or outside of our service area) drop us a message below and we will gladly email you the PDF.

For our customers, we recommend that you check the tank bottom fuel quality on an annual basis to make sure the product looks good. If the tank has sat for years and is dark in color (good diesel is bright and transparent – you will notice if it is in bad shape), we recommend pumping the tank out at least partially and replacing with fresh fuel. Often you can also hugely improve the quality of the fuel by polishing the fuel. Polishing is when you circulate fuel from the bottom of the tank through a pump, filter repeatedly in order to remove any sediment or growth from the fuel, and then place this fuel back in the same tank.

Look at your fuel for a bright and clear color.

For stored fuel, you also want to make sure it is stabilized and contains a biocide. Stabilizers prevent the oxidation of the fuel and prevent the effect of metals like lead, copper and zinc, which can react and degrade fuel. For heating oil systems with a return line, for instance, the fuel is flowing through a copper line to the furnace and then back to the tank in a return line.

Use additives designed to prolong the life of your emergency diesel fuel.

Biocides prevent the growth of biological activity in the tank. In scenarios whcontaminated_dieselere micro-organisms like algae, bacteria, yeasts, and other bugs are growing in your fuel, biocides can kill this growth. It is still important to remove the residual grit and other contaminants that are the hallmark of bugs growing in your tank. Usually you remove them by filtration or total turn over of the fuel. If your tank absolutely has to be clean, you can contract a tank professional to enter the tank and physically clean the tank bottom or reline the tank with either fiberglass or an epoxy resin.

Water in diesel destroys fuel quality rapidly. Check your tank for water every fall and spring.

In events where water finds its way into your storage tank, that can also be corrected by pumping the tank bottom. Additionally, you want to put in an absorbent material designed to absorb water and not fuel. If your long term storage tank has water and you are not planning to burn 100% of the fuel in the near future, DO NOT add anything that removes water by distributing into the fuel. Adding a “fuel drier” that actually pushes the water into solution with the diesel will worsen the long term quality of your fuel, not improve it. That water is where bugs find their home to grow in fuel.

Star Oilco will test your fuel at no charge if you have an open account.

Feel free to call us with any questions you may have about long term storage of diesel. Star Oil can also deliver treated diesel ready for long term storage complete with Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel additive to improve the long term storage quality of your fuel. For biocide, we use Valvtect BioGuard fuel microbiocide to kill any possible biological activity and prevent any chance of it starting.

Diesel Testing and Storage in Portland

If you have a long term diesel storage tank and you are in the Portland, Oregon area, we are here to test your fuel.  Make sure your diesel is there for you when disaster strikes.

Tank Testing Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

For more reading on diesel fuel quality assurance:

Fight Humbug in your Diesel Tank (using Valvtect Bioguard Plus 6 to stabalize your stored diesel)

Diesel Fuel Technical Review (an easy to read and free text book on diesel fuel)

Emergency Back Up Generator Fuel Quality (designed to provide a checklist to help Facility Managers keep those back up generators ready for emergency action)

Using Desicant Breathers to keep diesel fuel dry and clean (an introductory primer on desicant breathers and how they can be used to keep long term diesel storage drier and cleaner)

Using Diesel Filters to clean up your diesel fuel quality (an introductory primer on using aggressive filtration in line with diesel fuel dispensing for fuel quality assurance)

Emergency Back-Up Generator Fuel Quality Assurance 150 150 Star Oilco

Emergency Back-Up Generator Fuel Quality Assurance

Emergency Back Up Generator Diesel Fuel Quality

The fuel in your generator is the single most overlooked item in maintaining a back up generator.  Be prepared and know your back up generator diesel fuel quality is ready with these best practices.

When the power goes out, don’t let a decade old tank of diesel be your weak link.

 

Diesel Generator Fueling Service

As a provider of back up generator fueling services we know how critical fuel is in an emergency.

Back up generators are everywhere when you start looking for them.  Rarely needed but when a storm or disaster strikes their failure to fire will be extremely conspicuous. In the Pacific Northwest where resilience planning around a major subduction zone earthquake is a monthly subject of talk.  Back up diesel will be the only immediately power source after a quake.  Diesel generators are taking center stage for emergency preparedness, placing those who maintain them in some high level policy discussions.

Avoid a double emergency when the back up power isn’t there for your need by focusing on the diesel fuel quality.

The worst case scenario for fuel quality is water getting into your diesel fuel reservoir as well as biological growth occurring in that water logged diesel. If water is present in diesel, and that diesel is in a warm dark place, bacteria will start growing in your tank. So first preventive step is watch for water.  The most likely problem with fuel you will see is the fuel aging and degrading in place over years of not being used.  That can be addressed with your routine maintenance on the tank.

CIM-TEK water absorber

NOTE: To get a small amount of water or to ensure a dryer tank of fuel, CIM TEK makes a Tank Dryer which absorbs a small amount of water in a tank. Handy similar to adding a desiccant into a closet with a slight condensation issue. 

Back up power generator diesel fuel quality.

The big rule for storing back up generator fuel is to make sure the diesel you use is clean and dry.

First ensure you are testing the generator by running it once a month.  Move fuel through the system and ensure the generator is starting right up. Run the generator for a while to use up fuel and be prepared to order a regular top off when you get below 3/4th of a tank. When checking the fluids on the generator prior to start up see if the fuel filter has a visual transparent bottom where you can see what the fuel looks like there. If it looks like dirty fuel or there is evidence of water take notice.  After cycling the generator take a peek and make sure the fuel it’s pulling into the generator is bright (not dark and degraded).  If you are seeing any water (even a small drop) that is an indication of real concerns.

If you are using up half a tank a year and adding to it, the fuel quality will usually stay within specification.  If you have worries the easiest way is to just start over. With older generators sometimes it’s a good idea to just evacuate the tank (empty all the older diesel fuel) and replace it with fresh diesel treated and stabilized for long term storage.

Most back up generators are seeing routine annual maintenance where the mechanical needs of the equipment are walked through. If this is occurring ask for a bottom sample from the back up generators fuel tank. Also ask to see what the fuel in the bottom of the fuel filter (assuming they are changing that) would give an indication if problems might exist deep in the fuel tank.

Back Up Diesel Generator Fuel Service

Sampling and Onsite Testing of Fuel from Generator Diesel Tank:

  1. Pull sample from tank bottom
    1. Use a professional “Bacon-Bomb Sampler” (google it to see one) or a small fuel transfer pump available at any auto parts store.
  2. Visually inspect it by swirling it in a beaker or mason jar.
    • Look for water and dirt fall out as you swirl.  If you see a few drops of water form you’ve got a water problem. If you are seeing coffee ground type material in the fuel, that’s biological growth. If an algal or gunk type slime appears, that’s also biological growth.
    • If clear like cranberry juice and bright – your fuel is in good shape.  If a darker cherry color yet still clear, your fuel is aging and you should consider swapping or burning fuel off in the next year.
  3. If fuel is dark in color (showing that it is aging in the tank) you can send that sample to a lab to test it. You want to ensure you are confirming the following:
    • Oxidation Stability (or Accelerated Stability)
    • Water Content in PPM (under 50 PPM is what you want, under 100 PPM is not uncommon, and over 100 PPM there is probably water in the fuel and you want to pursue remedial action.)
    • Make sure the fuel testing lab you are using (your current fuel vendor should have a recommendation or do it for free for you) is checking for:
      • oxidative stability (if it’s aging out of specification),
      • biological growth (if bugs are growing in it),
      • water content (indicating a puddle someplace in the tank causing higher water content in the fuel) and,
      • dirt content of the fuel (if there is dirt, there is probably biological growth or some other problem).
  4. Set aside sample in a warm dark place for a month and check it for biological growth occurring which will confirm if you have fuel growing inside the tank.
    • How to test diesel for biological growth In-House:
      • Take your sample that appears to be in great condition and set it aside in a warm dark place for a month (day light kills most biological growth in fuel, though day light ages your diesel in other ways).
      • When you come back to look at the sample, if a film or layer of darker color is appearing in the fuel, this is biological growth occurring.
      • If you see nothing and want to experiment further, add a slight amount of water to this sample, shake it up, and put it back in a warm dark place.
      • When you check back if there is a a new layer of darker color on the surface of where the water contacts the fuel, that’s what grows in your tank.
      • If nothing grows, your fuel is safely stabilized for storage this year. Even if water is finding its way into your fuel tank, the fuel is safe and will be ready to start.
        • NOTE: Do not leave water in your tank, even if the fuel looks good. Eventually it will be a major problem and something will grow. If you are putting biocide in your tank regularly and their is an environment for growth, something resistant to that biocide will take root and you WILL NOT be able to get it out of the tank without serious effort.

NOTE: If you are curious to see a fuel lab analysis of the diesel this is an example.  This is a lab analysis from Hydrotex, Star Oilco’s premium diesel additive provider.  They are very supportive in testing everything we send them for quality assurance. 

 

Do you have questions about generator diesel fuel storage?

If you have questions about fuel storage, Star Oilco has answers.  Star Oilco does not do tank cleaning, we still will help you figure out what you need to do in order to have the result you need.

Contact Form

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For more on Diesel Fuel Quality Assurance please see these other Star Oilco articles:

Desiccant breathers, dry diesel, and keeping your diesel fuel clean.

Every question Star Oilco has been asked about dyed diesel.

Keep and make your diesel fuel cleaner. 

Bioguard Plus 6, Kill and prevent biological growth in your diesel fuel storage tank.

 

BioGuard Plus 6 Stabilize Your Diesel Tank 150 150 Star Oilco

BioGuard Plus 6 Stabilize Your Diesel Tank

Fight Humbug in your Diesel Tank!

Fall weather is around the corner and moisture is depositing in your diesel tank.

 

[videopack id=”2436″]https://www.staroilco.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Bugs-Kill-Equipment.mp4[/videopack]

Treat your diesel; keep things from growing in your diesel.

Prepare your diesel fuel, heating oil, kerosene, or boiler fuel for storage.

Make sure your fuel works when you need it. If you have a bulk diesel tank, stop stuff from growing in your diesel before it starts.

Star Oilco provides complementary diesel fuel quality testing for tanks in our service area.

Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6

Valvtect Plus 6 – Stabilizer and Biocide

Use every spring and winter to guarantee your tank is not providing a habitat to fuel system spoiling microbes.

Water in diesel is a fact of life these days. Biological growth spoiling your fuel quality does not have to be. Ultralow sulfur diesel and biodiesel have water in them. Over time, water entrained in your diesel fuel can fall out of solution. Add to that they condensation that will natural develop in your fuel tank and you have an environment for hum-bug to grow in your heating oil, diesel, or boiler fuel storage tank.

 

If you are storing diesel for longer than six months you want to stabilize that fuel.

In the summer when temperatures swing at night, your tank is breathing air in and out.  If it is raining, your tank is likely also breathing in the water. With the rainy season and long after it passes, be aware that water is everywhere unless you work to seal it out of your fuel storage system.  You can use a desiccant breather as a way to filter moisture from the atmosphere from getting into our tank.

If your tank does not have a desiccant breather on it, your fuel tank can collect condensation. As air moves in and out of the tank with temperature changes, moisture will collect on the wall of the tank. Yeasts, bacteria, fungi, and algae can grow in that water which collects on the bottom of the tank. Make sure your tank is not a habitat for growing bugs every spring and winter.

Microbiological growth in diesel fuel, also known as “humbug” in fuel, can start growing and if unchecked, will wreak havoc with your fleet. Once it starts in your fuel tank it will spread throughout your fleet. If you see a random need to spin filters between services or odd fuel-related maintenance issues, you likely have bugs growing in your fuel tanks.

Star Oilco recommends BioGuard Plus 6 as a regular biocide for routine maintenance.  

BioGuard Plus 6 is the only EPA certified biocide product that has both a biocide as well as a fuel stabilizer with detergent in one product. This detergent stabilizer acts as an aggressive tank cleaner (NOTE: BioGuard available without Plus 6).

When using Valvtect BioGuard, treat first with a kill, done in your bulk diesel storage. That will spread and kill the growing bugs in your fleet. Maintenance will clean up any remaining bacteria. If you do not have a known or seen problem, a kill twice a year is a great way to guarantee it does not appear and treat the individual tanks of your fleet.

ValvTect BioGuard™ PLUS 6Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6

BioGuard® Plus 6™ is the ONLY EPA registered diesel additive that combines a biocide with a multi-functional diesel additive to prevent bacteria, algae and all other major diesel related problems.

BioGuard Plus 6 is the perfect solution for ultra low sulfur diesel and biodiesel problems; such as bacteria, algae, excess water, sludge, filter plugging, injector wear & deposits, poor fuel economy and unstable fuel.

Only BioGuard Plus 6 prevents bacteria and algae growth, plus:

  • Stabilizes fuel for up to 2 years
  • Prevents rust and corrosion
  • Lubricates pumps and injectors
  • Cleans-up injector deposits
  • Disperses moisture
  • Increases cetane

ValvTect BioGuard Plus 6
“It’s ALL Your Diesel Fuel Needs!”

32 oz Bottle treats 375 Gallons
1 Gallon Bottle treats 1500 Gallons
Also available in 2.5 Gallon Plastic Bottles, 55 Gallon Drums and 300 Gallon Totes

BioGuard ULS Fuel Microbiocide

BioGuard is an EPA registered dual soluble (fuel & water) microbiocide that effectively kills bacteria and fungi that grow in diesel fuel, heating oil and gasoline. BioGuard also prevents bacteria caused filter plugging and bacteria caused corrosion of the fuel system.

BioGuard typically works in 2-3 hours versus 24-36 hours needed by other biocide products. BioGuard has also been found to be up to twice as effective as other biocides.

BioGuard can be used in all diesel and gasoline bulk tanks and vehicle tanks, including marine, farm, truck fleet, home heat, generators, and railroad storage tanks.

  • Kills bacteria and other biocontamination quickly
  • Twice as effective as other biocides
  • Breaks up sludge and slime
  • Prevents bacteria plugged filters
  • Prevents bacteria caused corrosion
  • Bottle contains easy measuring spout

16 oz. container treats 460 gallons of diesel fuel at the initial kill treat rate.
16 oz. container treats 920 gallons of diesel fuel at the maintenance treat rate.

 

For a more in depth description of Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6 please click here.

If you have any questions about routine tank maintenance or to order Valvtect BioGuard products, please don’t hesitate to contact Star Oilco directly by email, message, or phone.

Contact Form

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For more information on storing diesel fuel please see the following articles from Star Oilco:

If you are interested in getting a Diesel Storage tank Star Oilco can help.

For a great document on everything diesel we recommend this Diesel Technical Review.

For best practices on storing generator fuel we recommend reading this Emergency Back Up Generator Fuel Storage.

If you are trying to keep your stored diesel dry here is an article we wrote on Desiccant Breathers for your fuel tanks.

If you are looking at getting serious about Diesel Fuel Quality Assurance here is an article we wrote about keeping your diesel cleaner and drier.

What is the benefit of Premium Diesel versus normal diesel? 900 639 Star Oilco

What is the benefit of Premium Diesel versus normal diesel?

Premium Diesel delivered in Oregon and Washington with every gallon of Star Oilco diesel.

Are you clogging filters, seeing corrosion, suffering repeated DPF regens, or fighting biological growth in your tank?

[videopack id=”2435″]https://www.staroilco.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Star-Oilco-Premium-Diesel.mp4[/videopack]

Premium Diesel with routine tank maintenance is the solution to your problem.

Premium diesel provides real benefits to the long term maintenance cost of any diesel fleet.

Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel has a higher cetane, an aggressive detergent for cleaning injectors and tanks, pushes water out of the fuel keeping it dry while traveling down your fuel rail, as well as stabilizes the fuel to ensure it does not begin to grow algae or other biological problems in your tank.

Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel has plenty of benefit for a very small additional cost.  The most profound and not highlighted is the effect on long term storage of tanks and what your bulk storage tank bottoms look like long term. Namely that the corrosion inhibitors, moisture demulsifiers and stability benefits of Premium Diesel will pay back dividends for your entire fleet.  As time passes the bottom of your tank begins to age and collect anything that might fall out of solution.  Premium diesel will significantly reduce these danger particles that can get into your fleet’s fuel system.  Premium diesel not only improves the active daily performance of your fleet, it also prevents the long term problems that build up in fuel storage.

A first hand extreme example.  Recently we have seen where a customers sprinklers put a huge quantity of water in their storage tank and the additive kept that fuel bright, clean and not growing fuel algae.  Upon sending the sample to the lab of course water content was higher than you want, but that fuel was in great shape considering this extreme failure of fuel quality assurance. Controlling and preventing for the unforeseen is worth the effort.  What might have been a disaster costing tens of thousands in down equipment was an oddity we were able to fix for them in a few hours.  All because additive fuel kept that fuel within specification even in the most extreme of scenarios.

 

To read more about Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel and more in depth research on the benefits of premium diesel:  Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel Brochure.

Backup Generator Fuel Portland

If you have a commercial fleet and want to have Star Oilco sample and test your fuel for quality assurance please do not hesitate to ask. We are here to help.

Tank Testing Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Kill the bugs growing in your fuel
BioGuard Plus 6 Stabilize Your Diesel Tank 700 394 Star Oilco

BioGuard Plus 6 Stabilize Your Diesel Tank

Spring is just around the corner.

Have you stabilized the diesel in your generator?

Water and temperature changes can contribute to growth in your tanks.

Prepare your diesel fuel, heating oil, kerosene, or boiler fuel storage and make sure it works when you need it.

With the Fire last fall and the recent power outages many generators have recently been filled. If you haven’t added stabilizers and a biocide to your fuel you may not be ready for the next emergency.

Kill bacteria, bugs, and yeasts growing in your diesel fuel with Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6

Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6

Use this diesel fuel microbiocide every spring and winter to guarantee your tank is not providing a habitat to fuel system-spoiling microbes.

Water in diesel is a fact of life these days. Biological growth spoiling your fuel quality does not have to be. Ultralow sulfur diesel and biodiesel have water in them. Over time, water entrained in your diesel fuel can fall out of solution. Add to that the condensation that will naturally develop in your fuel tank and you have an environment for humbug to grow in your heating oil, diesel, or boiler fuel storage tank.

When it is raining, your tank is likely breathing in the water. With the rainy season, be aware that water is everywhere unless you work to seal it out of your fuel storage system.

If your tank does not have a desiccant breather on it, your fuel tank can collect condensation. As air moves in and out of the tank with temperature changes, moisture will collect on the wall of the tank. Yeasts, bacteria, fungi, and algae can grow in the water that collects on the bottom of the tank. Make sure your tank is not a habitat for growing bugs every spring and winter.

Microbiological growth in diesel fuel, also known as “humbug” in fuel, can start growing and, if unchecked, will wreak havoc with your fleet. Once it starts in your fuel tank, it will spread throughout your fleet. If you see a random need to spin filters between services or odd fuel-related maintenance issues, you likely have bugs growing in your fuel tanks.

Star Oilco recommends BioGuard Plus 6 as a regular biocide for routine maintenance.  

BioGuard Plus 6 is the only EPA-certified biocide product that contains both a biocide as well as a fuel stabilizer with detergent. This detergent stabilizer acts as an aggressive tank cleaner (NOTE: BioGuard available without Plus 6).

When using Valvtect BioGuard, treat first with a kill, performed in your bulk diesel storage. That will spread and kill the growing bugs in your fleet. Maintenance will clean up any remaining bacteria. If you do not have a known or visible problem, a kill twice a year is a great way to guarantee bacteria does not appear and you can treat the individual tanks of your fleet.

Product Specifications:

ValvTect BioGuard™ PLUS 6Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6

BioGuard® Plus 6™ is the ONLY EPA registered diesel additive that combines a biocide with a multi-functional diesel additive to prevent bacteria, algae and all other major diesel related problems.

BioGuard Plus 6 is the perfect solution for ultra low sulfur diesel and biodiesel problems; such as bacteria, algae, excess water, sludge, filter plugging, injector wear & deposits, poor fuel economy and unstable fuel.

Only BioGuard Plus 6 prevents bacteria and algae growth, plus:

  • Stabilizes fuel for up to 2 years
  • Prevents rust and corrosion
  • Lubricates pumps and injectors
  • Cleans-up injector deposits
  • Disperses moisture
  • Increases cetane

ValvTect BioGuard Plus 6
“It’s ALL Your Diesel Fuel Needs!”

32 oz Bottle treats 375 Gallons
1 Gallon Bottle treats 1500 Gallons
Also available in 2.5 Gallon Plastic Bottles, 55 Gallon Drums and 300 Gallon Totes

 

 

BioGuard ULS Fuel Microbiocide

BioGuard is an EPA registered dual soluble (fuel & water) microbiocide that effectively kills bacteria and fungi that grow in diesel fuel, heating oil and gasoline. BioGuard also prevents bacteria caused filter plugging and bacteria caused corrosion of the fuel system.

BioGuard typically works in 2-3 hours versus 24-36 hours needed by other biocide products. BioGuard has also been found to be up to twice as effective as other biocides.

BioGuard can be used in all diesel and gasoline bulk tanks and vehicle tanks, including marine, farm, truck fleet, home heat, generators, and railroad storage tanks.

  • Kills bacteria and other biocontamination quickly
  • Twice as effective as other biocides
  • Breaks up sludge and slime
  • Prevents bacteria plugged filters
  • Prevents bacteria caused corrosion
  • Bottle contains easy measuring spout

16 oz. container treats 460 gallons of diesel fuel at the initial kill treat rate.
16 oz. container treats 920 gallons of diesel fuel at the maintenance treat rate.

Learn more about Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6.

If you have any questions about routine tank maintenance or to order Valvtect BioGuard products, please don’t hesitate to contact Star Oilco directly by email, message, or phone.  If you would like to learn more about checking your tank for growth this is a great checklist. 

Contact Form

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Dyed Off-Road Diesel
Every Question We Have Been Asked About Off-Road Diesel 700 700 Star Oilco

Every Question We Have Been Asked About Off-Road Diesel

Got questions about Red Dyed Diesel?  We have answers!

(If you do not see the answer you need, message or call Star Oilco.  We will gladly answer that too.)

Dyed Off-Road Diesel

What is red diesel?

Red Diesel is Off-road diesel, in the United States this fuel is denoted with a red dye. The dye marks this as fuel for off-road equipment and vehicles and as such it doesn’t have road fuel taxes included in the price.  This dye takes a great deal of clear fuel to dilute so it makes it very obvious if an on-road vehicle has been using off-road untaxed fuel. Tax authorities can and do check for vehicles using off-road red diesel in on-road vehicles. They do this by using a black light to spot any residual presence of dye in the fuel as well as at key places in the engine compartment.

What is green diesel?

On-road diesel is clear or slightly green. Refineries place a green dye into diesel fuel which is obvious if fuel is freshly dispensed into a bottle to observe its color. As fuel ages this dye fades to yellow or darker colors. Part of a visual observation to inspect diesel fuel quality is to check the fuel for a “bright” appearance with the slight green dye being a giveaway that the diesel is fresh and in good condition.

What is dyed diesel?

Nearly all diesel has dye in it. Typically when talking about dyed diesel, we’re referring to a red dye added to off-road diesel. Off-road diesel is normally used for heating oil, construction fueling, agricultural use, and other off-road equipment not used on the highway system where fuel taxes would be required by law.

What is farm diesel?

Farm or diesel for agricultural use is off-road diesel that is not charged on-road fuel taxes. Agricultural use fuel is a tax-exempt use of diesel fuel. If diesel is burned on a farm and can be tracked for such, taxes can be avoided. Farms are allowed to receive clear diesel without road taxes charged on it in Oregon. Often it is dyed red to denote it is tax free. In Oregon, where P.U.C. for trucks over 26,000 GVW pay a weight mile tax instead of a per gallon state road tax, some farms will track their use of clear diesel so they can file for Federal road taxes on off-road usage.

What color is dyed diesel?

All diesel sold in the United States typically has some dye in it. On-road diesel usually has a slight green tint to it. This is a dye added by either the refiner or terminal provider with the fuel. Off road diesels are dyed red to denote that the fuel is untaxed and is for use in off-road purposes only.

What is the red dye used to turn off-road diesel red?

Solvent Red 26 and Solvent Red 164 are the allowed dyes prescribed by the United States Internal Revenue Service for marking diesel as for un-taxed off-road use only.

Why is diesel dyed?

Diesel is dyed in order to denote if it has paid road tax or not. On-road diesel in the United States usually has a light green tint to it. Off-road diesel has a red dye to denote it has not paid road taxes as required by all states and the Federal government.

Dyed Diesel also called Red Diesel is used for vehicles that don't drive on public roads.

What is off-road diesel?

Off-road diesel is diesel fuel dyed red to show it is untaxed and available only for off-road fuel uses such as construction fueling, equipment never used on a public road, agricultural use, heating oil, boiler fuel, and other non-taxed diesel fuel uses under state and Federal fuel tax law. In Oregon, with proper paperwork, some off-road uses can buy on-road fuel with the Oregon state tax exemption.

Is dyed or off-road diesel flammable?

Off-road diesel is classified as a Class II combustible liquid by the National Fire Code. A flammable fuel is one with a flash point below 100 degrees F. Diesel’s flash point is between 126 and 205 degrees F (typically assumed to be about 160 degrees F).  That classifies it as a Class II combustible.

Is off-road diesel or dyed diesel high sulfur diesel?

Dyed diesel (or off-road diesel) can be high sulfur fuel. High sulfur diesel is defined as diesel fuel with over 500 parts per million of sulfur content.

Is off-road diesel or dyed diesel ultra-low sulfur diesel?

Off-road and dyed diesel fuels can be ultra-low sulfur but are not guaranteed to be. There has been a consistent push to reduce sulfur in all fuels in the United States as led by EPA regulation. In recent years, EPA standards require off-road construction and agricultural equipment to have an emissions system that allow ultra-low sulfur to operate without major problems. So today’s off-road diesel being delivered is ultra-low sulfur. If you have a tank with old stored dyed red diesel fuel in it, you can assume it has a higher than ultra-low sulfur content.

What is dyed ULSD fuel?

Dyed ULSD fuel is ultra-low sulfur diesel with a red dye in it to denote that it is for off-road or untaxed purposes only. These purposes are typically for heating oil, construction fuel, agricultural fuel, generator fuel or other off-road uses. The “ULSD” is an acronym for ultra-low sulfur diesel.

Is dyed diesel #1 or # 2 diesel?

Dyed diesel can be either #1 or #2 diesel. Both fuels require a red dye in them to confirm they are untaxed and cannot be used for on road fuels.

Why does the government require diesel be dyed red?

From a informational pamphlet from the US IRS on untaxed fuel:

“The federal government requires dyeing of untaxed diesel fuel and kerosene for two reasons. To help reduce tax evasion by identifying fuel on which excise taxes have not been paid, and to help reduce air pollution by identifying fuel not suitable for use in highway vehicles.”

Is dyed diesel and off-road diesel kerosene?

Dyed diesel and off-road diesel can be kerosene (which crosses as #1 diesel fuel), but not necessarily. Do not assume a dyed fuel is kerosene, which is a rarer fuel. Kerosene is different than #1 diesel for one characteristic: its confirmed ability to be absorbed and taken up by a wick. All kerosene is #1 diesel.  Not all #1 diesel fuels are kerosene. The same goes for dyed diesels and off-road fuels. All dyed kerosene is dyed and off-road diesel. Not all dyed fuel is kerosene.

Is dyed diesel and off-road diesel stove oil?

Yes, dyed diesel and off-road diesel are stove oil. Typically a #1 stove oil or #2 stove oil, similar to diesel. Historically stove oils had a slightly different set of specification concerns which is why they were called “stove oils” versus diesel. When petroleum refineries distilled crude oils to get diesel range fuels, it was less exact than it is today with hydrocracking technology. Today with both oil refinery technologies and the EPA emission regulations, the number of distillate range fuel specifications is far more consolidated in order to ensure compliance with EPA and state rules. If your heating appliance is demanding stove oil, it typically needs a #1 stove oil or #1 kerosene product. This product is expected to produce less soot and therefore to work better in a pot stove type of application. The most modern stove oil appliance in the U.S. are Monitor and Toyostove thermostatically controlled direct vent heaters.

Is off-road diesel bad for my truck?

Depends on the year of your truck, and we assume you mean red dyed diesel fuel.  First, using dyed diesel, off road diesel, or heating oil in an on-road vehicle is against the law.  If you are caught in Oregon the fine can be as big as $10,000 and the State of Oregon does aggressively pursue this type of tax avoidance.  Beyond the legal use of off-road fuel.  Typically on the west coast dyed diesel is ultra low sulfur diesel. Which means it will not cause maintenance issues if burned in your engine.  Dependent on the age of the dyed fuel, or if it is actually a heating oil, it might be high sulfur or low sulfur fuel. If you use that in a post 2007 engine with a particulate trap it will have serious maintenance issues if you use that fuel.

Is dyed diesel or off-road diesel heating oil?

Yes, dyed diesel and off-road diesel are acceptably used as heating oil. Dyed diesel and off-road diesel these days are typically ultra-low sulfur diesel. Heating oil can be low sulfur or high sulfur in content under EPA and most state laws. So heating oil sometimes cannot be dyed diesel (when used for off-road equipment or agricultural use) but dyed/off-road diesel can always be used for heating oil and conform to the necessary specification required by heating oil furnaces.

Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel is 15 PPM

Does off-road diesel have sulfur in it?

Yes! But in today’s ultra-low sulfur market, most off-road diesel is below 15 parts per million. If your equipment requires ultra-low sulfur diesel, it is a good practice to confirm that is what fuel you are getting. Some low sulfur diesel (under 500 parts per million sulfur fuel) and high sulfur diesel (over 500 parts per million sulfur) is still in the marketplace used by heating oil, boiler systems, locomotive, and marine applications.

Does off-road diesel freeze?

Off-road diesel gels at cold temperatures. At colder temperatures, wax crystals begin to form and fall out of the diesel, clogging filters and gelling up the fuel. Also, the water and naturally held-in diesel will ice up and obstruct filters. This phenomenon is called diesel gelling.

Does off-road diesel gel in cold weather?

All diesel fuels will gel if it gets cold enough. Both a formation of wax crystals and ice forming in your fuel will obstruct filters and take your equipment down. Rule of thumb: with no treatment your diesel fuel should operate without any issues above 20 degrees F. Below 20 degrees F, you will want to ensure your vendor is treating the fuel for winter use to ensure it will operate down to -20 degrees F.  If you are facing temperatures below that, you will want to confirm with your vendor that they are testing that fuel to operate below -20 degrees F.

Diesel Testing and Storage in Portland

Does off-road diesel go bad?

Off-road and dyed diesel do age and can go bad. All diesel fuels adhering to ASTM specification should be safe for storage up to a year without additional treatment and testing. If you are storing diesel for long term use, it is a good best practice to treat the fuel with a biocide and oxidative stabilizer to ensure that the fuel stays within specification and nothing will begin to grow in your fuel tank. The biggest enemy of long term diesel storage is water and dirt entering the fuel through a tank vent. As temperatures change a tank will breath pulling in air and moisture from outside. Ensuring there is no water in the tank and that outside contaminants can’t get into a tank are how keep your fuel within specification.

How long can I store off-road or dyed diesel in a fuel tank?

Untreated, you can assume that diesel fuel is good for a year. If treated with a biocide to prevent biological growth from growing in the tank, you can expect diesel to be good for two to three years. After two to three years, diesel begins to show age as it loses its brightness when sampled. After three years you will want to sample and test the fuel to ensure it is within specification for reliable use.

What is the difference between off-road diesel and on-road diesel?

Fuel taxes charged is the big difference between the two fuels. All on-road diesel is clear or greenish in color to denote it is both ultra-low sulfur diesel and the on-road fuel taxes associated with using it to power a highway vehicle have been paid. Dyed fuel means that fuel taxes are not paid and that the fuel can not be used to power a vehicle on a public road.

Oregon Diesel Taxes Explained

What are the fuel taxes on off-road diesel?

Fuel taxes vary by state and sometimes even local municipality. With off-road diesel, usually the only taxes to consider are sales taxes on the fuel. In Oregon there are no taxes on dyed off-road fuel. In Washington state there are sales taxes for dyed-diesel charged on top of the sale price of the fuel. (NOTE: If you use clear diesel in Washington state there is no sales tax as the road tax is being charged.)  If you are curious for a more in depth answer Star Oilco has a full explanation of Oregon Diesel Taxes (a unique system in the United States for local fuel tax collection of trucks over 26,000 GVW).

Do you pay sales tax on dyed diesel or off-road diesel in Washington state?

Yes. If you are consuming dyed diesel and are not paying for the on-road fuel taxes in Washington state, the sales tax is charged. If you use clear fuel with road taxes attached to the fuel, the sales tax is not charged. For more on Washington fuel taxes see the Washington Department of Revenue.

What are the taxes on dyed diesel or off-road diesel in Oregon state?

Your petroleum distributor has some small taxes (under $.01) attached to the fuel they buy at the wholesale terminal level. Those taxes being the U.S. EPA Superfund cleanup and the “LUST” or Leaking Underground Storage Tank cleanup fund. Beyond that, there are no taxes (Federal, state or local municipality) on fuel used for off-road diesel in Oregon state.

Is there a way to buy clear diesel without a road tax on it?

In Oregon you can buy clear fuel exempt of Oregon’s state road taxes. The qualifications for using clear diesel Oregon State tax exempt are the following:

  • vehicles issued a valid ODOT Motor Carrier permit or pass (weight receipt)
  • vehicles issued a valid Use Fuel User emblem by the ODOT Fuels Tax Group
  • vehicles registered to a US government agency, Oregon state agency, Oregon county or city, and displays a valid Oregon “E” plate
  • vehicles, or farm tractors/equipment only incidentally operated on the highway as defined in ORS 319.520
  • vehicles or equipment that are unlicensed and/or used exclusively on privately owned property

What happens if I use dyed diesel in an on-road vehicle?

If you get caught in Oregon, a $10,000 a day fine can be levied. We have seen fuel tax cheats get caught repeatedly so be aware Oregon is on the look out for any amount of dye in the saddle tank of an on-road vehicle. If the fuel you use is low sulfur or high sulfur fuel and your vehicle has a particulate trap, you will have maintenance issues with the emission system of your vehicle.

Can you use dyed diesel in a diesel pickup truck?

Only if that pickup is dedicated to an off-road use. If you plan to ever use that truck on a public road (even to cross a street), and dyed fuel is found in that vehicle, fines up to $10,000 per occurrence can (and are) levied by state regulators. If you have a closed facility or large farm and are not registering the vehicle for on-road use (so the pickup must not leave the site), you can use off-road diesel as the vehicle’s fuel. If you have license plates and it’s permitted for on-road use, any regulator spotting dyed fuel in that truck will presume it is an on-road pickup.

How does the government test if someone used dyed diesel?

Typically when checking for illegal use of dyed fuel, regulators will sample from the tank or spin the fuel filter and observe for obvious dyed fuel. If the fuel is clear (or even slightly pink) and they suspect dyed fuel was used in the vehicle, they can apply a special black light that will glow an obvious color denoting dyed fuel had been in contact with the vehicle. They will shine that light on the filter, fuel tanks, and various parts in the engine compartment that would have come into contact with the fuel. If those areas denote even a mild trace of the red-dye used in off-road diesel, they will cite the vehicle operator. There are kits sold online for filtering dye out of fuel to remove the color.  Those kits will not remove enough dye to avoid detection by these lights.

Why is off road diesel illegal for pick up trucks to use?

Off road diesel is dyed red to show that the on-road fuel taxes are not paid or that it is a tax-free fuel.  The Federal Government and State Government’s have fuel taxes for on-road fuel usage to help pay for the roads we all drive on.  If you are using diesel for a non-road equipment, machinery, or heating/boiler applications the fuel taxes are exempt and the fuel is dyed to ensure it’s tax free status is immediately seen.  Regulators in a road side or site level inspection can also shine a black light on specific places in a vehicles system to denote if dyed fuel is being used in violation of the law as well.

 

What is the difference between dyed diesel and heating oil?

In the Pacific Northwest at the current moment? Usually nothing. Heating oil is dyed diesel. Most petroleum distributors are selling the mainstream dyed diesel specification for use as heating oil in order to lower the overall cost of the fuel. There are different ASTM specifications for heating oil and dyed diesel dependent on the state you buy it in. Heating oil’s specification has wider tolerances than diesel specifications as furnaces and boilers can handle dirtier, lower quality fuels than off-road equipment with a particulate trap. Heating oil is always a diesel fuel, but sometimes dyed diesel for off-road equipment has a different specification than heating oil. For example, in Oregon a 5% biodiesel or 5% renewable diesel mandate exists for any dyed diesel fuel used in off-road equipment. This biofuel mandate exempts heating oil and boilers. So heating oil can be biodiesel free but off-road diesel for equipment cannot.

Can refrigerated trailers or “reefers” use dyed diesel even if they are attached to a truck moving it on the highway?

Yes, refrigerated trailers are off-road equipment. The diesel fueled refrigeration trailer is off-road equipment as its engine is not powering something actually driving down the road. These trailers can use any ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (dyed or clear). If using on-road clear fuel in a refrigerated trailer, if you track and keep proof of the on-road fuel being used in the off-road piece of equipment, you can file for those fuel taxes back. Proof is required though so consult with your CPA or accountant.

How do I order off-road diesel for a construction project?

The first step is to set up an account with Star Oilco. It’s easy to pay through a simple credit application or by placing a credit card on the account. Oregon and Washington are highly regulated when it comes to fuels such as diesel. We need to account for who is ordering and getting fuel (yes, Oregon even checks sometimes as the DEQ tracks every gallon of diesel moving into the state). Determine if you want a loaner tank onsite or a keep-full service plan. Star Oilco will deliver bulk or wet hose fuel your job site on a regular schedule. We are here to make it as easy as possible for you to focus on your project, not fueling. Let us know what you want: we will keep it simple and make it easy for you.

How do I stop biological growth in my off-road diesel fuel tank?

If you are storing off-road or dyed diesel for longer than six months you will want to make sure it is stabalized. Star Oilco recommends Valvtect Plus Six as the fuel additive you want to use.  Our recommended fuel additive is a fuel microbiocide with stability additives made for diesel long term storage.  This kills and prevents the growth of biological “hum-bugs” in your tank.  Bacteria, yeast, and algae can grow in your fuel tank. Usually in a small amount of water that collects in the bottom of the fuel storage tank (be it the bulk tank you  fuel out of or the saddle tank on your equipment).

How do I get water out of my off-road diesel equipment’s fuel tank?

There are several ways to do this.  What you will want to do varies based on how much water and what it is in.  If you are dealing with a large bulk fuel tank you want to definitely pump the tank bottom to get the water out.  If you are seeing extreme biological activity (Hum-Bug growing in your tank) you want to do a kill dose treatment on that tank. It might not be a bad idea to also spend a few thousand dollars to have a professional tank cleaning company come in and manually clean the tank prior to adding the kill dose to kill anything growing in your tank.  If it’s the tank on your equipment usually the best route is to drain the tank, flush the tank, and also put a kill dose of  a fuel microbiocide to make sure nothing continues to grow.  If you want to talk to someone feel free to call Star Oilco, you do not need to be our customer for us to walk through some solutions you can do yourself.

Where can I buy Off-Road or Dyed Diesel?

There are a very few rural gas stations that provide this fuel.  Some Pacific Pride or CFN cardlock locations also have pump available for this fuel.  The easiest way to acquire this fuel is through a fuel company.  Star Oilco is one such company that can deliver dyed diesel for it’s customers, or provide cardlock cards for its customers.

Backup Generator Fuel 150 150 Star Oilco

Backup Generator Fuel

Star Oilco Generator Fueling Service

Make sure your generator fuel tank is filled before the power outage strikes.

 

Commercial Fleet Fueling in Portland

 

Remember that ordering diesel for your generator is a specialized service.

You want to stabilize and treat your diesel for generators and other back up equipment.

Order fuel treated for long term storage!

We often receive questions about backup generators, backup water pumps, and other emergency equipment. Fueling these critical pieces of equipment is a special kind of fueling service but we’re here to answer all your questions.

Generator Fuel is a specially treated oxidative stabalized off-road fuel designed to store for years.

Fuel for a backup generator is a specialized product. Besides the fuel, the service itself takes a vendor who understands your needs and can keep you up and running in an emergency.

Generators take off-road diesel, of course, but you want an ultra low sulfur diesel to ensure it works with modern emission systems. Some companies may deliver a higher sulfur heating oil product that looks the same but can foul the emission systems of your equipment.

Backup Generator Fuel in Portland

Beyond just the service provided by a truck and driver, you also want a vendor who offers a fuel stabilizer and biocide for the special long term storage needs of your backup generator. Star Oilco recommends you add a biocide and long term storage stabilizer to your fuel to ensure it is good whenever you need it. We use Valvtect Bioguard Plus 6 for generators, emergency water pumps, backup boiler fuel, and other long term storage purposes. This product kills any existing biological growth and stabilizes your fresh diesel fuel for long term storage. Make sure your diesel is ready the next time you need backup power.

As a complimentary service to our customers, Star Oilco will also test fuel for its quality. If you want to confirm fuel quality at the time of a top off, let us know and we will ensure the driver has a sample kit to get your backup fuel tested for peace of mind.

Feel free to message us if you need a backup tank filled. If you are in charge of Corporate Fueling, please call with any questions you may have.

Read more about stabilizing your generator fuel for long term storage.

Keep it simple with Star Oilco. We make it easy for you to be prepared.

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About Diesel Fuel 150 150 Star Oilco

About Diesel Fuel

Bulk Diesel Fuel Frequently Asked Questions

Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel is 15 PPMDyed Off-Road Diesel

Where your diesel comes from and what you need to know about ASTM Diesel Standards and ISO cleanliness code.

Where do Pacific Northwest vendors get their fuel?

In the Pacific Northwest, diesel is fungible. Everyone buys their fuel from each other in some way or another.  

This means that every refiner is typically expecting to mix their diesel and gasoline products. The real difference is in the care a vendor takes to filter the fuel, additize and continuously check their fuel quality. If you are buying at the absolute lowest price possible, know that there is an incentive to skip any added value of quality assurance.

Through its Pacific Operations unit, Kinder Morgan operates approximately 3,000 miles of refined products pipeline that serves Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Texas. With roots dating back to 1956, it is the largest products pipeline in the Western U.S., transporting more than one million barrels per day of gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel to our customers. The company-owned terminals also provide additional services, such as liquid petroleum product storage and loading facilities for delivery trucks.

Diesel Fuels

In the United States, diesel fuel is controlled according the American Society for Testing and Materials Standard D975-97.  This standard describes a limited number of properties that diesel fuels must meet.  It should be noted that the requirements are all performance- based.  They do not mandate the composition of the fuel, only the specific performance related requirements demanded of a fuel for a diesel engine.  The requirements of D975 are described below. 

ASTM Specifications for Diesel Fuel Oils (D975)*

* You can go to the source of ASTM HERE if you have an interest in really getting in depth.

Diesel fuel is characterized in the United States by the ASTM standard D975.  This standard identifies five grades of diesel fuel. We are only going to talk about the two most popular commercially diesel fuel used — No 1 and No. 2 diesel. The ASTM D975 standard is made up of a series of different tests that check the characteristic ranges of a fuel to confirm it is adequate to operate in your equipment. In simple terms, they are checking for specific gravity, the vapor point (when it turns into a gas), the flash point (when it catches fire), the dirt content, water content (how much microscopic entrained water), and a host of other requirements diesel must meet in order to be legal to be sold for use in your engine.

Grade No. 1-D and Ultra-Low Sulfur 1-D: This is a light distillate fuel for applications requiring a higher volatility fuel to accommodate rapidly fluctuating loads and speeds, as in light trucks and buses. The specification for this grade of diesel fuel overlaps with kerosene and jet fuel, and all three are commonly produced from the same base stock. One major use for No. 1-D diesel fuel is to blend with No. 2-D during winter to provide improved cold flow properties.  Ultra Ultra-Low sulfur fuel is required for on-highway use with sulfur level < 0.05%. 

Grade No. 2-D and Ultra-Low Sulfur 2-D:  This is a middle- or mid-grade distillate fuel for applications that do not require a high volatility fuel. Typical applications include high-speed engines that operate for sustained periods at high load. Ultra-Low sulfur fuel is required for on-highway use with sulfur level < 0.05%.

RecologyDealing with Dirty Fuel and Today’s Tier 4 Engines

Water and dirt are the biggest concerns for fuel quality. Why? Because no matter how perfect fuel is refined, these two elements can find their way into fuel and crash its performance. Water and dirt often build up in tanks just from the temperature change between night and day, causing a bulk fuel tank to breathe. Condensation and dust can also find their way into a bulk storage tank. If not addressed, they build up and will cause mechanical failures.

Dirty fuel will cause premature parts failure in equipment of any age. But newer equipment has far tighter tolerances than what we saw in previous decades. Today’s new and improved Tier 4 rail injector engines are more efficient, they burn cleaner, and run better, they are more powerful than ever before. But there are things that make fuel quality more important than ever. Because of the extremely high pressures (upwards of 35,000psi at the injector tip), the possibility of damage from dirty wet fuel is more prevalent than ever. This damage is much more pronounced in newer equipment with High Pressure Common Rail (HPCR) fuel systems. Hard particulate is commonly referred to as “dirt,” but is in fact made up of a wide variety of materials found at job sites (coal, iron, salt, etc.), generated by fuel tanks and lines (rust, corrosion, etc.) and inside engines (carbonaceous materials and wear particles).

Frequent diesel fuel filter changes — as well as the expensive, and time consuming, task of cleaning diesel fuel tanks — have become acceptable periodic maintenance, instead of a warning signal, for diesel engine failure. Diesel fuel filter elements should last a thousand hours or more, and injectors should endure 15,000 hours. However, since diesel fuel is inherently unstable, solids begin to form and the accumulating tank sludge will eventually clog your diesel fuel filters, ruin your injectors and cause diesel engines to smoke.

Symptoms

  • Clogged and slimy filters
  • Dark, hazy fuel
  • Floating debris in tanks
  • Sludge build up in tanks
  • Loss of power and RPM
  • Excessive smoke
  • Corroded, pitted injectors
  • Foul odor

The solids that form as the result of the inherent instability of the diesel fuel and the debris formed in the natural process of fuel degradation will accumulate in the bottom of your fuel tank. The sludge will form a coating or “bio-film” on the walls and baffles of the fuel tank, plug your fuel filters, adversely impact combustion efficiency, produce dark smoke from the exhaust, form acids that degrade injectors and fuel pumps, and impact performance. Eventually, fouled diesel fuel will clog fuel lines and ruin your equipment.

The Bigger Picture: ISO (International Standardization Organization)ISO Chart 1

In today’s world, the definition of what constitutes clean or dirty fuel is critically important and, as such, fuel cleanliness levels are now measured and reported according to the ISO Cleanliness Code 4406:1999. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) created the cleanliness code to quantify particulate contamination levels per milliliter of fluid at three sizes: 4μ, 6μ, 14μ. Microns.

Fuel Cleanliness vs. Engine Technology

Fuel cleanliness levels using the ISO4406:1999 method were officially documented as a global standard only as recently as 1998 with the development of the Worldwide Fuels Charter (WWFC). Since its inception, the charter has established a minimum cleanliness level for each of the diesel fuels under various available categories around the world.

Most mainstream engine OEM’s now subscribe to these standards. Interestingly (and somewhat troubling to note), however, is that fuel cleanliness levels as specified by engine OEM’s and the WWFC have not changed since their inception in 1998, despite the enormous advances in fuel injection technology. This relationship is best represented in the previous table that identifies the advances in fuel injection systems and clearly highlights how OEM’s and the WWFC have not responded to reduce fuel cleanliness in accordance with advancements in technology.

Diesel Fuel Injection – Advancing Technologies & Cleanliness Levels

ISO Chart 4This table  identifies that, over time, fuel injector critical clearances have halved and fuel pressures have doubled, yet the level of fuel cleanliness being specified has not changed in accordance with such advancements. In fact, the same cleanliness levels specified in 2000 are still being used today despite these magnificent technological design advancements by engine manufacturers worldwide.

Leading fuel injector manufacturers around the world have clearly identified and communicated that they require ULSD fuels with ISO fuel cleanliness levels as low as ISO12/9/6 to maintain ultimate performance and reliability. It is here where we see an enormous mismatch in what the fuel injection OEM desires as a fuel cleanliness level, to what the engine OEM’s and the WWFC are advising the industry. The following table identifies the discrepancies in fuel cleanliness levels.

Diesel Cleanliness Levels

 ISO Chart 3                        

 

 

 

 

 

WWFC Diesel Category Fuel Cleanliness Standards                                                                                                      ISO Chart 5

 

 

 

 

Damage Caused by Hard Particulate

Hard particulates cause problems with moving parts in the fuel system. This can lead to starting problems, poor engine performance, idling issues and, potentially, complete engine failure. All too common, hard particulates damage engines.

The spray pattern generated by the HPCR injector is critical for proper combustion and overall fuel system performance. (1) sm-injector-with-red-light-Bosch

It must be extremely precise in terms of quantity, distribution and timing. Ball seat valves are sealed with balls that are only 1mm in diameter. A good seal is absolutely necessary for proper injection. Damage from erosive wear, such as shown below, will cause over fueling, leading to decreased fuel efficiency and eventually shut you down altogether.

hpcr injector damaged by hard particulate(3) high-pressure-fuel-system-wear

Pump performance can also be compromised by scoring and abrasive wear. These issues are magnified by tighter tolerances and extreme pressures in HPCR engines. In these circumstances, it is the smallest particles (1-5 microns in size) that cause the most damage, virtually sand blasting part surfaces.

Allowable Levels of Hard Particulate 

(4) dirt-in-vs-allowed-in-1000-gal-dieselIn some parts of the world, 10,000 gallons (38,000 liters) of “typical” diesel contains 1-1/2 lbs (700 grams) of hard particulate; this is 1000 times more than the 1/4 oz. (0.7 grams) per 10,000 gallons (38,000 liters) that is allowed by the cleanliness requirements of high pressure common rail fuel systems. In reality, there is no “OK” level of hard particulate. Injector manufacturers are very clear that damage caused by hard particulate reaching the engine is not a factory defect, but rather the result of dirty diesel that is not fit for use in HPCR fuel systems. At the end of the day, the end user is responsible for the fuel he puts into his equipment, and the consequences thereof.

How Dirt Enters Fuel

Dust and dirt are all around us, especially on job sites. Diesel fuel is fairly clean when it leaves the refinery but becomes contaminated each time it is transferred or stored. Below you will find some of the key contributors of fuel contamination:

Pipelines: Most pipelines are not new, and certainly not in pristine condition. Corrosion inhibitors are added at most refineries to help protect pipelines, but rust and other hard particulate is nevertheless picked up by the fuel that flows through them.

Barges and rail cars: How often are they drained and scrubbed out? What was in the last load? Where did it come from? How much of it was still in the tank when your load was picked up? How long was it in transit? Is the tank hermetically sealed? There are many opportunities for contaminants to make their way into the fuel.

Terminal tanks: Terminal tanks usually see a high rate of turnover, so there is not much time for the fuel to pick-up contamination from outside ingress. Has the tank ever received a “bad load” from a pipeline or a barge? Has larger dirt had a chance to settle on the bottom of the tank? How often has it been cleaned out? Was it just filled? Did the bottom get churned up in the process? How full was the tank when your fuel was loaded into the delivery truck? There are many variables that can affect fuel cleanliness.

Delivery trucks: All the same issues that apply to stationary tanks also apply to tanker trucks, except that truck tanks never get a chance to settle. In addition, have you ever considered how much dirt gets into that tanker while it is delivering fuel to a customer, potentially a customer in an extremely dusty environment? As fuel flows out, air is sucked in to displace it. Is there anything protecting the inside of the tank from all the dust in the air? Generally not. Venting is typically completely unprotected, as seen in the image to the right.

Storage tanks: Onsite bulk storage tanks typically see less rapid turn-over than terminal tanks. In addition to those issues, yard and jobsite tanks can also develop serious problems with other sources of contamination, such as the ingress of dirt and water, condensation, rust, corrosion, microbial growth, glycerin fall-out and additive instability. Time and temperature become big factors affecting fuel quality.

Dispensing process: How far does your diesel need to travel between the bulk tank and the dispenser? The more pipe it runs though, the more potential there is for contamination. Are your dispenser nozzles kept clean? Are they ever dropped on the ground? Then what? What about the vehicles’ fuel tank inlets, are they clean? Think about the extremely tight tolerances in your fuel system, then take another look at housekeeping issues. You will see them through new eyes.

Onboard fuel tanks: Contamination continues even after the fuel is in the equipment. What has that tank seen in the past? Has it been left stagnant for long periods? What kind of protection is there on the equipment’s air intake vents? Heavy equipment does hard, dirty work.

Engines: Unfortunately, even if the fuel in your tank could be perfect, additional contamination is generated by the fuel system itself. Wear particles are created by mechanical friction. High heat and extreme pressure generated inside the modern engine, lead to coking and the creation of carbon products at the injector. Much of this internally-produced particulate is returned to the fuel tank, along with the unburned diesel.

The Bottom Line

No one gets special fuel, no one has better fuel, no one has cleaner fuel. Diesel fuel vendors get the same fuel, from the same pipeline, delivered to the same terminals. We all wait in the same lines with our tank trucks to get that same fuel. So ask yourself: Given that the fuel is the same, what sets one vendor apart from all the others? Star Oilco Premium Diesel fuel is treated with Hydrotex PowerKleen® additive running through Donaldson filtration systems.

Clean, dry, premium diesel

FURTHER READING ON DIESEL FUEL:

Read about Star Oilco’s approach to Fuel Quality Assurance: Star Oilco – Precision Fuel Management

Read about dealing with biological growth in your diesel tank: Bioguard Plus 6 biocide treatment for diesel

Get Chevron’s Technical Manual to Diesel Fuel (essentially an easy to read text book on diesel): Chevron’s Fuel Technical Review

Get a white paper from Donaldson Filtration on tier 4 engines and fuel cleanliness: Donaldson on Tier 4 Engine Fuel Contamination

Read more about Donaldson Desiccant Breathers for bulk diesel tanks: Why use a Donaldson Desiccant Breather for a bulk diesel storage tank.

Bulk diesel desiccant filters, dry fuel, and keeping your diesel fuel clean. 150 150 Star Oilco

Bulk diesel desiccant filters, dry fuel, and keeping your diesel fuel clean.

Bulk diesel fuel delivery and storage best practice.

Use Desiccant Breathers and Premium Diesel additives to improve your diesel performance and reduce maintenance cost.

 

Save tens of thousands on fleet maintenance costs!

How? Clean, dry, and premium-treated diesel.

Reduce injector wear and particulate trap service needs with simple steps focused on fuel quality. Get the water and dirt out of your fuel with aggressive filtration and then upgrade the fuel’s lubricity, detergency, cetane, and performance with Hyrdrotex Power Kleen premium diesel.

Call Star Oilco if you want to permanently solve bulk diesel quality issues with our Precision Fuel Management program.

Do you have a bulk diesel storage tank?

Does that tank seem to have water in the bottom of it and you can’t seem to figure out where it’s coming from?

You call your diesel supplier and they say they know it isn’t them. If that’s your experience, Star Oilco can explain where that water is probably coming from. With the help of Hydrotex, Star Oilco can also lab test your fuel quality and prove we are in improving it as well.

desiccant filter in field

All storage tanks are different. But for the most part, if your tank seems to take on water randomly. It’s probably from the tank breathing. Especially if you have a large above ground tank. In fact, if you tracked it on a calendar it probably happens the same time of year in conjunction with a weather pattern your tank responds to.

How it works is as the temperature changes the tank’s space that is not filled with fuel will breathe in and out. The temperature and air pressure move air in and out of the tank. As does dispensing fuel out of the tank and then refilling the tank. When that happens, especially if you have a significant amount of humidity in the air or misting rain, water makes it’s way into your fuel supply. As temperatures change, moisture is drawn into the tank, condenses on the inner wall of the tank, and then deposits itself on the bottom of the tank.

This water not only poses a risk to your engines, but if your fuel isn’t treated for stability and performance, that fuel is guaranteed to start growing bugs and algae that will spread throughout your fleet and will have your mechanics spinning filters and dealing with random problems due to this diesel biological growth.

This problem is also exacerbated by ineffective fuel additives trying to keep your fuel dry, clean and safe for your injectors to process, which ensures that water does not get absorbed by your diesel. A single drop of water falling out of solution in today’s high pressure fuel rails and your engine can blow an injector.

HOW DO YOU SOLVE WATER IN YOUR DIESEL TANK?

ANSWER: DESICCANT BREATHERS ON YOUR VENTS

Desiccant diagram

Star Oilco recommends Donaldson desiccant filters, given their excellent full line of products and support. More on the full Donaldson Clean Dry Fuel program here: Donaldson Clean Diesel Kits Brochure.

The Donaldson desiccant breaker mounts to the top of a tank at it’s vent point. This addition seals the point of failure for water to get into your tank. Though in some cases it doesn’t stop 100% of water from ending up in your fuel tank, it definitely guarantees you know where it won’t be coming from, the environment around your tank.

(NOTE: If dealing with underground storage tanks also be aware that if you seal the vent with a desiccant filter and you still have incident’s of water, it might be a leak in the bottom of the tank where rain water is making its way into the tank.)

By using Donaldson filters, Star Oilco also gains the benefit of support from Hydrotex PowerKleen diesel fuel lab to analyze fuel to guarantee that the before and after samples of the fuel are moving as expected and the problem is solved. Running diesel samples can cost as much as $200 each time–having a partner that backs up our solutions with ASTM and ISO measured verification is a must.

The first step in getting better performance from your diesel fuel is to test your bulk diesel storage tank.

To get a complementary ASTM diesel fuel test, contact Star Oilco for assistance.

Clean, dry, premium diesel

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