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Clogging Fuel Injectors

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.

Keep and make your diesel fuel cleaner 700 394 Star Oilco

Keep and make your diesel fuel cleaner

Clean, dry, premium diesel

What is Clean Diesel? 

Clean diesel is free of the contaminants that harm modern diesel engines. Today, there is a gap between ASTM diesel standards and the ISO cleanliness standards needed for use in high pressure common rail engines. Anyone operating a modern clean diesel engine is seeing the effect, including injector replacement, DPF regeneration, and a host of other fuel quality related maintenance concerns we never saw twenty years ago. On top of all of that, today’s refined diesel fuels are less storage stable then ever before. What is on the bottom of your bulk tank can also complicate matters further. When diesel is bought wholesale it typically meets and exceeds ASTM required industry standards, but almost always requires additional filtration to avoid excessive engine wear and premature part failures.

Having clean diesel requires an additional amount of care. Namely, you need to make sure that the fuel is aggressively filtered at 4 microns to catch the microscopic particles that are big enough to damage your modern diesel engine’s high pressure fuel rail system. Furthermore, clean diesel is fuel that is free of water and stabilized with Premium Diesel to guarantee no bacteria, yeast and other creatures can grow and further contaminate the saddle tanks on your trucks.

For more on clean diesel, see Donaldson’s description of “The New Clean” for an in-depth explanation of what ISO cleanliness and filtration mean for your diesel fleet.

Making Diesel Cleaner!

Knowing the quality of your fuel is the first step. This is done by taking samples off of the bottom of your bulk storage, as well as a representative sample from your fuel dispenser. Lab tests of those samples will tell you if you have water, biological growth, or dirt issues with your storage. The contaminants in the tank being sampled are almost always visible, which is to say that they look horribly ugly. If your fuel quality assurance has been on autopilot, do not be surprised if you find this. After gathering knowledge about your fuel, the next step is to get your fuel quality clean.

Filtration and tank bottom sampling is the start. Beyond that, the only way to improve your fuel quality performance is to filter your fuel, ensure water is not getting into the tank through condensation, and additize it with a Premium Diesel additive to upgrade the performance of the fuel. Many fleets today are seeing injector wear and continual problems with particulate trap maintenance. This is a combination of water in fuel and microscopic particles not captured by a 10 or 30 micron filter used at most diesel dispensers. You have to filter more aggressively than this.

Clean, Dry, and Premium Diesel!  Where To Start?

The first step is sampling your bulk diesel tank. We check your bulk tank for water and dirt, and make sure to meet the specifications your engine is built for. Star Oilco can help by providing a complementary diesel test for those fleets interested in taking control of their fuel quality assurance. Usually when testing fuel, we take a sample off of the tank bottom as well as a representative sample out of the fuel dispensing nozzle.

What we usually find is ASTM specification diesel fuel (it meets ASTM spec) that is higher than you’d want (still in spec) for water with far more dirt than the OEM’s would want to see in your engine. This dirt fails to be within the “ISO Cleanliness” specifications recommended by engine manufacturers. Usually we also see water on the bottom of the fuel tank, which is a likely source for future or current biological growth in your fuel tank.

Star Oilco can help you fix this! The first step is to sample your fuel tank.

NOTE: If you have a current biological growth problem in your bulk fuel tank or fleet, your first step is to treat that effected fuel with a diesel microbiocide to kill the bugs growing in your tank. For more on this, see our Valvtect Plus 6 Diesel Microbiocide page.

Tank Testing Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Star Oilco Diesel Fuel Quality Assurance 150 150 Star Oilco

Star Oilco Diesel Fuel Quality Assurance

 

Diesel Fuel Tank Cleaner

 

  • Diesel Fuel Is Often A Company’s Largest Expense. Unfortunately, there is very little control over its quality.
  • Fuel Quality Has Declined over the last 25 years…
  • Engine manufacturers have tightened the tolerances for fuel
  • Newer tier 4 engines starting from 2008 need cleaner fuel

 

“Over the last two decades, the cetane number and the API gravity, the basic measures of crude oil quality have declined.”

—Society of Automotive Engineers, (SAE) Bulletin 872243

 

 

Cetane number is actually a measure of a fuel’s ignition delay. This is the time period between the start of injection and start of combustion (ignition) of the fuel. In a particular diesel engine, higher cetane fuels will have shorter ignition delay periods than lower cetane fuels.

So what is a typical API gravity for diesel fuel? The classic book “Petroleum Refinery Engineering” by W.L. Nelson (4th ed., McGraw-Hill, 1958) gives numbers ranging from about 25 to 40 (with “Grade 1-D” around 40 and “Grade 2-D” around 35). In a Web search using the keywords “diesel” and “API gravity” I found a couple of sites with specs for #2 diesel fuel; these had minimum values of 26 and 30 API gravity. So a reasonable guess would be that typical #2 diesel fuel would have an API gravity of about 35; I’ll let you plug that into the above formula to get the specific gravity.

The densities of petroleum products are traditionally (especially in the U.S.) expressed as “API Gravity” The API Gravity is related to the specific gravity by the equation: API = (141.5/SPGR) – 131.5, where the specific gravity is the density relative to that of water and everything is measured at a temperature of 60 degrees F.

MadSci Network © 1997, Washington University Medical School

“Diesel fuel quality has deteriorated for the past 20 years and is expected to continue this trend for the foreseeable future.”

American Society for Testing and Materials, (ASTM) Pub. # 10056

 

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH 21st CENTURY DIESEL FUEL IN THE PACIFIC NW

Fuel Quality Deterioration

industrial-townProblem 1

 

Problem 2

 

Problem 3

Problem 6a

 

 

Problem 4

 

Problem 4a

 

 

Problem 5

Problem 3b

Problem 6

The odds are stacked against the fleet owners

what can be done to help alleviate or control the problems?

you have questions, we have the solutions, call us to find out.

 CAll Today

If you have bulk fuel storage, the first step is testing your tank bottom and what is coming out of the nozzle.  Star Oilco can do a complementary  ASTM and ISO specification analysis of your diesel fuel.  If you are seeing recurring fuel system issue, the first step is to make sure your bulk storage isn’t the problem. We can help.

Tank Testing Form

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

Tier 4 Engines and Diesel Contaminants – Donaldson White Paper 150 150 Star Oilco

Tier 4 Engines and Diesel Contaminants – Donaldson White Paper

Managing bulk diesel fuel storage has become more complex in recent years. Especially in Oregon and Washington the chance of water finding it’s way into your fuel tank is a real concern. If water gets in your bulk fuel biological growth or “hum bug” won’t be far behind.  Donaldson has positioned itself with real concrete solutions for for fuel quality.

With the extremely tight tolerances of today’s clean diesel engines and the expansion of sour crudes from tar sands, oil shale, and other source being hydrocracked into today’s ultra low sulfur diesel we have all seen it.  Fuel quality has stayed the same while the tolerance engine manufacturers build to have gotten tighter.

To help fleets solve the fuel quality issues fleet’s are dealing with these days Donaldson Filters has put out an intensive white paper on the what clogs filters.

Titled “Analysis and Identification of Contaminants in Diesel Fuel Filtration and Storage Systems” it goes into a level of depth of what the causes of filter spinning in your fleet is. If you are seeing clogged fuel filters this can help you diagnose and begin to problem solve for your fleet.

Usually diesel engine maintenance costs spin out of control around injector failure, DPF maintenance down time, and recurring regen cycles at the most inconvenient times blowing white smoke everywhere.  Usually this fleet management pain point revolves around dirt and water in diesel fuel.  Problems that Donaldson Filtration is the industry leader in solving.  Aggressive filtration and desicant breathers on tanks will polish your fuel beyond the low standards of petroleum standard ASTM and will exceed the ISO cleanliness standards the OEM’s made your engines to run.

This document is designed as and essential review of diesel contamination as it’s seen from the perspective of a filtration company guarding your diesel engine systems from problems.

This matters as the current generation of clean diesel technology commonly called “Tier 4” engines have a tighter specification need than industry standard diesel specification will meet in practice in the field.

 

The Donaldson Filters White Paper can be seen here: http://www.mycleandiesel.com/Resources/IFC10_FuelContaminants.pdf

Do you know what your diesel fuel quality is? 150 150 Star Oilco

Do you know what your diesel fuel quality is?

Find out what the bottom of your diesel tank looks like!
Call Star Oilco to get your diesel tested. 

This winter, Star Oilco is offering complementary diesel fuel testing for any fleet operating in our service area. We are providing fuel quality testing in partnership with Hydrotex to assist fleets in our area struggling with containing the cost of fuel related maintenance.  Typically a diesel lab test costs over $200 depending on the lab.  Don’t let the hurdle of a scientific analysis stand between you and full knowledge of what is effecting your fleet.

Since the move to Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel in 2007 along with moving changes in diesel refining and biodiesel mandates fuel quality has been a moving target.  More importantly petroleum refiners and distributors follow an ASTM specification for diesel which is not as stringent as the ISO standards demanded by OEMs making the trucks on the road today.  Water and dirt in fuel are robbing your fleet of money.  Get a handle on it and move forward armed with that knowledge.

Star Oilco and Hydrotex can help you understand what is going on, what the quality of your tank bottom is, and what you need to do to reduce the cost of operating your fleet as it relates to diesel fuel.

Call Star Oilco and state you want to get your fuel tested for both ASTM and ISO specification. A member of our team will help you take the sample off of the bottom of your tank as well as from your dispensing nozzle.

Call Star Oilco today for have a sample taken and tested.  

503-283-1256 or email OrderDesk@Star Oilco.net

Star Oilco, Hydrotex, and Donaldson Filtration demonstrate Precision Fuel Management Program Works 150 150 Star Oilco

Star Oilco, Hydrotex, and Donaldson Filtration demonstrate Precision Fuel Management Program Works

solid proof

09-18-2015 Recology Samples BEFORE Precision fuel management program

First sample taken 09-18-2015, lots of water and visible dirt in samples pulled from bulk tank. The company was having issues with equipment running rough, and they were spinning fuel filters way more than manufacturers recommended changes. We sat down with the plant supervisor and talked about diesel fuel quality testing. He was happy to hear his diesel fuel problems explained. It has nothing to do with diesel fuel quality by brand. All fuel vendors get the same fuel supplied to the Northwest.  The environment where this client is located has dust, dirt, and water in the air constantly due to the nature of the recycling processes with wood products. Our first goal was to sample the tank bottom and nozzle and share the results. As you can see from above, they had tons of water and dirt in the tank. So we set up to clean the bulk tank, polish the fuel with 1 micron filtration,  then install quality Donaldson clean & dry filtration including a 4 micron particulate filter, a water filter, and a desiccant breather trap to control the moisture that accumulates in most all bulk tanks. The client had dirty diesel fuel filters that were only 30 micron, letting all the damaging particles right into the equipment.

 

before

 

Numbers Meaningnumber meaning 1number meaning 2

second sample

COMPARE THE VISUAL AND DATA IMPROVEMENTS

Recology NP sample pic SECOND SAMPLE Precision Fuel Program 03-04-2016

The second round of samples after the tank was initially clean, the process is showing signs of improvement already.

The second round of samples after the tank was initially cleaned, and the remaining fuel was polished with 1 micron filtration. The process is showing signs of improvement after cleaning the tank. The Donaldson Filtration and Hydrotex PowerKleen additive was working on the contents of the tank, and the inside of the tank is being cleaned by the additive. The effects of water that was in the tank, and rust and corrosion showed signs of improvement on the second samples. Both water and rust will continue to be less in volume each time we sample, it is a continuous improvement program. Over time the water and rust goes away or is caught by the excellent Donaldson Clean & Dry filtration and what remains is attacked by the superior quality of Hydrotex PowerKleen additive!

 after

The most damaging particles and water, the ones between 4 and 8 microns,

are being filtered out of the fuel, the one’s we can’t see with the naked eye. Green Transfer After 04-20-20163rd sample

After 6 1/2 months on the Precision fuel management program the ISO count is well below the manufacturers specs for ANY of Recology's equipment. The water PPM if only 42 down from 89, well below ASTM standards. THESE NUMBERS DON'T LIE, THE PROGRAM WORKS!!!

After only 3 months on the Precision fuel management program the ISO count is well below the manufacturers specs for ANY of the customers equipment. The water PPM (Parts per million)  is now 42 down from 89, well below ASTM standards. THESE NUMBERS DON’T LIE, THE PROGRAM WORKS! To maintain this quality consistently the client only needs to change the filtration when the filtration gauges jump 10 PSI over normal flow rate. The Desiccant breather which controls moisture, has an indicator that turns RED from it’s original YELLOW to let you know it’s time to change.  The Hydrotex additive will continue to make the water drop out of the fuel, keep cleaning the rust and corrosion in the tank, and help with lubricity for the equipment that fuels from the tank.

Dont Wait until you see this

Another customer of ours was having issues with their previous fuel vendor, I approached the operations manager and let him know that we had a program that could turn their fuel issues around. He agreed to let me take bottom and nozzle samples from his tank, the results came back un-readable, meaning there was so much dirt and water that you could see it with the naked eye, (not good). All the damaging particles are between 2 and 8 microns. If you can see visible particles and water you know you are in trouble. We recommended our Precision fuel management program including cleaning the tank and using Donaldson Clean & Dry filtration along with Hydrotex PowerKleen additive and our Star Oilco Premium filtered diesel. Within 3 weeks the client saw results.

“The latest nozzle sample is looking very good, will continue to get down around 14/13/11”. In just one week after the second sample the water ppm has dropped to 52, which is well below the goal of 80 ppm. It dropped 20ppm after only one week of Hydrotex PowerKleen additive making the water drop out of the fuel.

The API gravity is down to 35.9, which means more BTU’s (heat transfer) meaning better gas mileage and horsepower. The fuel is burning clean and dry, like it is supposed to.

The client said, “We have not been spinning filters as often as we were in the past, we see an overall improvement in fuel quality since starting the Precision fuel program with Star Oilco.” Look at the before and after data below from the labDiesel Fuel Tank Testing and Cleaning Portland

 

Another satisfied Star Oilco Precision fuel management program customer!

If you suspect you have fuel issues because you’re seeing:

  1. Fuel filters plugging
  2.  Trucks and equipment are running rough
  3. Poor engine performance and fuel mileage below normal
  4. Fuel injector issues, pitting scaring or blown out tips

You may have issues with your bulk tank and filtration on the tank.

We can help you with a complementary lab sample test like you see above.

RULE OUT FUEL QUALITY AND BULK TANK FILTRATION ISSUES

Get with the program that works

                                                                 Get with the program that works

phone

What Are Diesel Soaps? Do Diesel Soaps Cause Some Diesel Engine Problems? 150 150 Star Oilco

What Are Diesel Soaps? Do Diesel Soaps Cause Some Diesel Engine Problems?

Star Oilco answers: What are Diesel Soaps?

Cliff Burbrink, chemical technology specialist at Cummins Filtration, provides a layman’s definition of diesel soaps:

“Diesel soap is not very different chemically than the soap used to wash your hands. The main ingredient in a bar of soap is formed when lye reacts with fats or oils. Lye is sodium hydroxide.

Fats and oils contain fatty acids. When they react, they form sodium soaps. Diesel soaps are formed from acidic additives in the fuel [such as some corrosion inhibitors and lubricity improvers] reacting with trace amounts of sodium.”

 

Rick Chapman, Industry & OEM Liaison Manager, Innospec Fuel Specialties, adds that acids can be derived also from other sources:

“[Soaps] can also be formed from free fatty acids in biodiesel starting materials and carboxylic acids derived from oxidatively degraded fuel and/or biodiesel.”

 

From a layman’s point of view, then, the formation of diesel soaps is the result of metals, such as sodium, calcium and potassium (in the form of positively charged ions, or cations), reacting with various sources of acid in the fuel.

 

“When these two species [acidic compounds and cations (usually sodium)] come together, diesel soap can form,” says Chapman.

“There are a lot of other factors or variables that can play into it, of course, such as pH, solubility, mixing intensity and so forth—but this is the basis for it. Unfortunately, when these soaps form, assuming they are formed from additives, they make the corrosion inhibitor or lubricity improver inert, and the corrosion or lubricity protection provided by the additive is lost.”

 

 

 Diesel soaps

 

  1. Plug fuel filters
  2. Form injector deposits that lead to over-fueling
  3. Create Turbocharger problems
  4. Generate Oil dilution
  5. Cause Poor performance, and poor fuel economy

 

In a May 2013 report, “Case Study—Impact of Poor Diesel Fuel Quality on an Urban Fleet,” Cummins Filtration investigated problems with diesel engines in a New York City bus fleet.

Complaints ranged from an excessive number of turbocharger fault codes to smoke at start-up to fuel-injector failures. The investigation uncovered excessive soot deposits in the turbocharger, resulting from over-fueling, which was determined to be the result of fuel injectors sticking because of deposits that were “rich” in the metals of sodium and calcium.

Although injectors showed sign of scuffing—the result of hard particle contamination, which, says the report,

“is the greatest fuel quality concern for high-pressure/common-rail fuel systems, worldwide”

—investigators determined that scuffing was not the primary issue for the immediate problems the bus engines were exhibiting.

The culprits in this instance were “metal carboxylates” in the fuel, more commonly know as “diesel soaps.” The recommended fix for the problem was use of a fuel additive that could both clean the Injectors and minimize further deposits, coupled with much tighter filtration.

 

Another Bad Actor

 

 

 

Biofuel is manufactured by reacting a plant-derived fat or oil (usually soybeans in the United States) with an alcohol, using sodium hydroxide as a catalyst. An unwanted by-product of the process is glycerin.

Although most of the glycerin is washed out during the manufacturing process, regulations do allow 200 ppm to remain.

Biofuel usually is mixed with petroleum diesel in 5-, 10- or 20-percent concentrations to form biofuel blends, but even at these relatively low concentrations, enough glycerin remains to create filter-plugging problems when, under certain fuel moisture and temperatures conditions, it becomes a solid and drops out of solution.

To help counteract glycerin’s effects, Jim Peterson, sales manager for Donaldson’s Hydraulics and Clean Solutions Group, suggests these measures:

  • Filter fuel on the dispensing side of the bulk tank and use proper on-machine filters
  • Keep fuel dry with proper tank flushing and proper breathers
  • If possible, moderate the temperature of stored fuel above the glycerin dropout level
  • Turn over fuel as quickly as possible
  • Keep fuel infrastructure as free from particulate contamination as possible
  • Ask OEMs about using detergent additives to keep glycerin in solution, both in equipment and bulk storage

 

Filtration and Additives

 

 

 

As noted before, the contamination of diesel fuel with soaps is not as prevalent, at least in many fleets, as other sources of fuel contamination.

These other fuel contaminates include hard particulates, increased water in biofuel blends, rapid oxidation of such blends, microbial growth, so-called asphaltenes (compounds that can agglomerate into an oily sludge), acetic acid formation and glycerin.

Glycerin being an unwanted by-product of biofuel manufacturing. “There are so many inherent problems with diesel fuel today,” says Hydrotex’s Cummins, “that machine owners must take a holistic approach when attempting to resolve them.”

The best defense against diesel soaps (and for most other contaminants, as well) seems to be the use of premium filtration, like the “Donaldson clean & Dry kit which includes 4 micron particulate and water filters. The kit also incorporates a desiccant breather to absorb moisture.”

Donaldson Clean and Dry Filter kit

In addition, (tank intake, tank dispensing, and on-machine), good tank housekeeping, and a well-chosen additive package.

Additives might be included in “premium” diesel fuel offered by some jobbers, but solving a serious soap problem might require consultation with an additive supplier who can take a comprehensive, laboratory-assisted view of all the fuel-quality issues in a particular fleet.

But, the best efforts are no guarantee of complete success when dealing with diesel soaps.

We’ve seen soap deposits form in engines that use our most effective filters—those proved to remove 99.9 percent of material 4 microns and larger and significant amounts of material smaller than 4 microns,”  says Cummins Filtration’s Burbrink.

“If soap particles don’t agglomerate before the filter, they can pass through it. When they hit the injectors, the heat can cause these particles to deposit on metal.”

 

Deposit control

 

 

 

“We have seen great success with some additives,” says Burbrink. “The use of good detergents has dropped the failure rate significantly in some applications. Unfortunately, we also have seen customers having issues even though they are using detergents.”

That said, a well-formulated additive package seems to be an integral part of the potential resolution of problems with diesel soaps.

A good, multi-functional package will contain corrosion inhibitors and lubricity improvers (some formulations use nonacid, non-reacting lubricity improvers), as well as a deposit-control agent that will assist in cleaning injectors and minimizing further deposits.

 

The Key

 

 

 

“The key to diminishing field issues is the use of a two-prong strategy,” says Innospec’s Chapman. “One, use an additive that provides the required lubricity but is resistant to reaction with metal hydroxides, and, two, use a deposit-control additive to ‘clean up’ and ‘keep clean’ any deposits that may form, regardless of the their source. Deposit-control additives are useful for reducing injector deposits, reducing filter plugging, and for carrying through trace amounts of water. In lower-dose rates, or at a ‘keep-clean’ level, they will put a protective coating on metal surfaces and not allow deposits to form—or will limit their formation.”

Hydrotex’s Cummins makes the point, too, that treatment rates for additives, a corrosion inhibitor, for example, might have to be adjusted to meet the conditions of a particular storage tank. Cummins also reminds machine owners that deposit-control additives might need time to work in certain situations: “Soap deposits can get very deep into the injectors, become sticky, and cause poor actuation of the pintle. A good additive package will help clean the injectors, but given the nature of the deposits, it’s usually not a quick fix. The process might require four or five tanks of treated fuel before improvement is noticed.”

Sunrock’s Dennis offers this suggestion to fellow fleet managers: “I would recommend that fleet managers, if they haven’t already done so, educate their fuel suppliers on the subject of upstream fuel-contamination issues and their effects on diesel engines.

Managers can use that opportunity to register their concerns about diesel soaps—for the purpose of promoting a partnership in utilizing countermeasures against diesel-fuel contamination. Their fleet reliability depends on it.”

 

 

To read more technical data on Diesel Soap click link below

SOAP AND GLYCERIN REMOVAL FROM BIODIESEL