Ever since the inception of FuelWatch, we have reviewed and discussed various aspects of diesel contamination. The discussion was mainly around the state of storage tanks whether homebase dispensers or taking on fuel at on road filling stations (FuelWatch Jul 2008 and August 2009). In this issue, our focus shifts to the fuel tanks on board the vehicle.
It is fair to say that very few vehicle owners have a policy and procedure to ensure their fuel tanks are regularly serviced and maintained. John Fitton, president of the Institute of Tribology in South Africa, says vehicle owners seem to be unaware of how much contamination in the form of water and dirt finds its way into the vehicle tank via the breather that often has an inappropriate gauze cover or nothing at all. Contamination also comes in when tank filler caps are placed on a dirty and muddy chassis when the tank is being filled. Then there is dirt around the neck of the tank that falls onto the pilferage restraint and progressively gets washed into the tank. There is also evidence of the dispenser nozzle being left lying on the ground.
These problems – and worse – are often seen where overhead storage tanks are used. Tribologists see the inside of engines and fuel injection pumps. They see the damage, rust and corrosion that results from water, sludge and particles that permeate fuel systems.
Modern fuel injection systems do not tolerate particles of even three microns and even less as technology strives to meet even more stringent standards than Euro 5. Water is inherent in diesel and without any reflection on fuel as it comes out of a refinery, water will be found in road tankers, homebase and on road dispensers and the tanks on vehicles.
We know that storage tanks have a useful life of about 20 years if they are reasonably maintained. Cleaning tanks is a necessary aspect of fuel maintenance and as such, steps can be taken to keep the fuel you burn in your engines pure.
What is diesel fuel purity?
Maintenance Technologies Solutions (MTS), the developers of the MTS Reach Pump and South African licensed representatives of the Tanknology (US EPA approved) Vacutect system for cleaning storage tanks and detecting contamination and leaks (see FuelWatch August 2009), is now offering its Dieselcure fuel decontaminant , a widely approved method to prevent contamination and to maintain the presence of water at zero or near zero levels. Dieselcure, say MTS, is a completely safe and inexpensive formulation of non-petroleum chemicals that converts suspended water content into a combustible
How does Dieselcure work and how is it applied?
The product is a liquid added to diesel fuel in the ratio of 1:4000 parts dieselcure to diesel fuel. Suspended water becomes diesel soluble, fully combustible, non-corrosive and improves lubrication. Fungus and bacteria is also eliminated by cutting off their food sources.
Among the regular users of dieselcure are various local fleet owners, mining companies and oil company filling stations. Some of the more notable users include Foskor Mine in Phalaborwa, the South African Navy and MTU, the well-known international diesel engine manufacturer.
For a number of years, MTS has established a comprehensive range of treatments to cleanse and purify diesel fuel. Dieselcure has been tested and approved for its purposes by SABS (test results and certification can be seen at MTS offices). MTS holds a number of accreditations from users and major oil companies. Acknowledgements include claims for improved performance and better fuel consumption which should be seen as additional benefits to improved life of key components and lower emissions.
MTS has an excellent presentation outlining the evolution of Dieselcure and the relevance of eliminating water from diesel and how diesel purity can be maintained under all normal transport operations. We would put this product forward as one which fleetowners would do well to investigate for applicability to their operations.