Tank Moisture Control: Power of Emulsifiers

Understanding Moisture and taking the steps necessary in late fall and early winter will help prevent fuel from bacterial and icing issues. A moisture control/anti-icing agent separates the water in your fuel in two different methods: emulsifiers and demulsifiers.

There is some controversy as to what the best method is. Understanding and practicing these proactive methods will set you up for success and lessen downtime. We believe using an emulsifier moisture control agent is best practice.

Emulsifier moisture control agents will keep small moisture particles from joining together, maintaining the moisture particles in suspension. This is called “free-water.” Keeping these moisture particles little will keep them in suspension, so they can pass through the fuel system without damaging the mechanical components. This practice can lower the risk of oxidized and unstable fuel, fuel line freeze-ups or filter icing, fuel storage tank corrosion, microbial growth, and reduce the risks associated with neglected tank maintenance procedures.

Demulsifiers will push moisture out of the fuel, dropping it to the bottom of the fuel tank creating “Water Bottoms.” Doing this is not a bad idea if you’re willing and able to remove the water from the bottom of the fuel tank. If you don’t remove the water in time, you will have challenges with Bacteria, Fungus, Mold, and in winter months Icing. As moisture drops out, it tends to bring other suspended items such as glycerin from biodiesel with it, especially in a fuel that has a quick drop in ambient temperature.

In conclusion: Icing is commonly mistaken for gelling. By not following the proper moisture maintenance practices throughout the year, we run the risk of having icing issues.

We invite you to reach out and let us help you understand the ever-changing fuel in our industry. You can find an additive that is good for some applications. Still, the challenge is finding the right additive to fit YOUR application. Put us to the test, send samples, or ask questions and let us help increase your productivity and decrease downtime.

By: Mark Hill, ET Sales Rep – mhill@etproducts.com

#1 Fuel Usage and Winterization Programs

With cooler days approaching, two frequent questions asked are how much #1 Fuel should I blend and when to start winterizing.

Why worry about this now?

1)The .40 CPG spreads on #1 fuel are holding

2)Many in the industry are now thinking it could get worse before getting better.

When to start winterizing?

In Kansas and Missouri, the transition to start using chemicals should begin around the first of October. Heavy fieldwork is not negatively affected by winter anti-gel(chemicals). So, start early with your anti-gel as the first line of defense and follow up with #1 fuel, usually in November.

An exception to this rule is for end-users who only buy fuel once or twice per year.  They need to treat and blend on the last purchase of the year, probably in July or August.

How much #1 Fuel to blend?

Using #1 Fuel does have some drawbacks.  For example, it contains less BTU, which reduces power, fuel economy, and is much drier. So, it provides very little lubricity. Using a winter premium fuel supplement will help offset these negatives. Cost of #1 Fuel is, of course, a big issue, but #1 is considered a necessary evil.

Some fuel marketers with the ability to custom blend ask, “should I leave it up to the customer.” This approach takes the pressure off the fuel marketer, and in many cases, is the best way to allow the end-user to help make the decision.

Some end-users might be willing to pay for only a 20% blend where others say 50-50, and some may say they will take their chances with #2 fuel and additive. I remind my customers that they certainly need to guide their customers based on their business operation and also depending on the quality of the fuel used. Determining the quality of the fuel requires fuel characterization testing and also monitoring of cloud points at the terminals the fuel marketer picks up their fuel. Fortunately, our lab can provide us with fuel characterization and cloud point information as long as we get the samples from the field(our customers).

Some distributors do not have enough tankage to do custom blending. They must bear even more responsibility.  Their job is much more difficult because they try to satisfy most or all their customers with a single winter blended fuel.

For these situations, it is even more important to know the type and quality of #2 fuel that they use from the terminal. If they have a choice of terminals, they need to target a lower cloud fuel with cold-weather friendly characteristics.

While it causes a fuel marketer to pay more in freight costs to pull fuel from a more distant terminal, it still offers cost savings to his customers. The fuel marketer can target a terminal that has a consistent cold-weather friendly fuel, and that needs less #1.

Having more robust modern fuel additives available makes a big difference. It is especially necessary for situations where a terminal has been labeled as a “hard to treat fuel” or where #1 supply is questionable or not available. Hard to treat fuels generally require more #1 and more than a conventional “anti-gel.” Heavier anti-gel and WASA(wax anti-settling agents) concentrations are necessary, especially in stationery above ground tanks and equipment.

We look at each fuel marketer situation individually.  A fuel marketer can manage his winter fuel program with a unique blend of the following: winter fuel additives, #1 blending, terminal targeting, and ongoing testing (achieving the best results over the next 3-5 months.)

By: Rob Frerking, ET Sales Rep – rfrerking@etproducts.com

Fuel Characterization and Personalized Winter Treatment Programs

The 4th Quarter of 2019 is here already. Looking back, we had a quite cold start to the year in my region, but we had a very smooth winter despite the freezing temperatures, thanks to several factors.

As recently as five years ago, we did not have nearly as many challenges as we do today during the winter months. The main culprit is the quality of refined fuels in the market. Modern fuels do not respond well to standard winterization. In response, it is more important than ever to approach to treat today’s fuels with a multifaceted strategy.

Proper fuel treatment is no longer a cookie-cutter program that works everywhere. For success in cold temperatures, we must first understand the characteristics of fuel sources in a given area and then identify the proper and most effective ways to treat them.

Sometimes traditional methods apply. More often, we must employ more substantial treatment concentrations and newer chemical technologies to get these fuels to respond in the way that we expect them to.

The use of #1 is also sometimes required for extreme situations. Our laboratory was instrumental last year in providing our customers with the data that we needed to accurately diagnose and treat their fuels for the cold winter months.

As we prepare for yet another Fall Harvest and Winter cold, it will be crucial to characterize the fuels refined in local areas. This step is imperative this time of year to make sure that what worked last year will work again this year. Don’t get caught assuming that everything in your program should remain the same!

By: Brian Neer, ET Sales Representative – bneer@etproducts.com

Fuel Sample Testing and NCWM Premium Diesel Specifications

In the past few weeks and going forward, I have been getting my customers and prospects aware of the new NCWM Premium Diesel Specification. While not all states will adopt it, it shows differentiation in our premium diesel additive. Many of the products of the competition meet the DW10B spec. However,  ET’s quality product achieves a much higher standard. It allows me to quantify our detergent claim and bring it to their attention that it matters.

I also have been getting more involved in customer/prospects winter fuel program. It is imperative to explain that they need to pay attention to the source of their fuel. Many different sources require different additives or blends of #1ULSD. Getting the chance to explain how their performance can be dramatically improved if they allow me to help advise them of this is essential to optimal winter performance. It is continually expressing this to customers, as well. Customers need to get their fuel tested, so I have the appropriate data to help them.

These discussions are starting now rather than too late. Creating a plan for which fuels and how often we need fuel samples is going to help me help them succeed. Waiting until November does not work, it is too late!

By: Alex Bradley, abradley@etproducts.com – ET Sales Represenative