Leisure boat operators - potential fuel quality issues
Posted on 29th March 2021 at 13:31
Onboard Marine Diesel fuel storage – potential fuel quality issues and how to pre-empt and resolve.
MARINE DIESEL FUELS :
Until recently, all sectors of the Marine industry had permission to purchase high sulphur content Diesel fuels (Marine Gas Oil) , whilst land based consumers were obliged to use ULSD (Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel) fuels.
Today , all consumers of Diesel fuel are obliged to use ULSD , in favour of reducing harmful sulphur emissions into the atmosphere.
Sulphur content in Diesel fuel did have some positives , in that sulphur provided “lubricity” characteristics to the fuel , helping fuel system components to combat excessive wear ; also further supporting the fuel’s additive system to remain in situ , when the fuel is held in storage for (sometimes) many years.
Burning Diesel fuel with minimal sulphur content (0.1%) does not have any negative effect on engine performance , but the operator does need to be aware of the downsides of this new fuel type , when it comes to it’s storage during off season periods - and how to ensure there is a useable fuel sitting in the storage tanks , when a new season commences.
DIESEL FUEL DEGRADATION – LONG TERM STORAGE ISSUES
As today’s ULSD fuels no longer possesses the same characteristics as their higher sulphur content predecessor, the new fuel type does not have the capacity to keep in suspension for any length of time , the vital additives package that is built into the fuel and which is key to it’s performance. A shelf life of approximately 90 days is considered a guide for ULSD fuels and it is within this timeline , that additional additising of the fuel with products such as CLEARWINNER PURIFY and 31A-WD MARINE should be considered , to extend the fuel’s shelf life for many more months , ensuring that a useable , serviceable Diesel fuel is in place , when required.
ULSD is also more susceptible to the manifestation of Diesel “bug” , a form of microbial growth that can quickly overrun fuel , fuel systems and storage tanks.
The effect of this growth is shown initially with blocked fuel filters in evidence but in a worst case , engine stoppage and component damage.
So , this is why we propose to boat operators to consider the dosing of their storage tanks with both CLEARWINNER products, as part of the boat's end of season Winterisation regime . This combination provides powerful antidotes to the prevention of contamination - and crucially to the maintenance and stabilising of Diesel fuel , over long periods of time.
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