The Impact of Future Environmental Policy on Fossil Fuel Petroleum

The petroleum industry has been through multiple changes throughout its history, and the future (including renewable fuel sources) looks to be every bit as dynamic as the past. As an industry, we have endured product shortages and disruptions, government agency mandates removing components from fuels, ever-changing and varying crude sources, and countless other events.

Regardless of whatever historical changes our industry has faced in the past, the petroleum industry has always come out on top. To respond properly to future changes, it is very important that we understand the pressures that are driving change to identify ways to respond effectively.

Environmental policy changes driven by public demand are going to shape the future of the petroleum industry. According to a study of 2,627 adults taken in October 2019 by the Pew Research Center, more than 2/3 of the adults say that the US government is doing too little to reduce the effects of global climate change, and 63% of those polled felt that stricter environmental regulations are worth the cost.

We have all seen examples of how the overall consumer sentiment has shaped policy change, now let us look at how these policy changes might change the way that we operate in the future.

Increased Use of Renewable Fuel Sources

biodiesel in clear class

One way that the fuel industry will respond to the increasing demand to become “green” is through increased use of renewable fuel sources. Biodiesel is a commonly used renewable fuel source that is produced by using vegetable oils or animal fats using a process called “transesterification”. Biodiesel is commonly blended with standard #2 diesel throughout the US to create a more sustainable fuel source.

Another renewable fuel solution is called renewable diesel fuel. Like biodiesel, renewable diesel is also produced with vegetable oils and animal fats, but it is refined similar to the way that standard fossil fuel-based #2 fuel is. The result is a fuel that is chemically similar to petroleum diesel but is not made from fossil fuels.

Over the next 30 years, small engine gasoline consumption is expected to decline largely due to the consumer shift to electric-powered vehicles. What does this mean for heavy-duty diesel equipment? Heavy-duty diesel equipment is not predicted to be replaced.

Along with this, renewable diesel and biodiesel consumption is expected to expand. For fuel suppliers, this means that more and more competitors are going to be focused on diesel gallon sales to respond to the shift in demand. To remain competitive and profitable it will be increasingly important to understand how to optimize the delivery of renewable energy sources and to develop strategies to separate more unique offerings in the market.

Diesel Additives for Market Separation

Premium fuel partnerships increase profit margins and separate fuel suppliers from competitors by providing additional tangible benefits that set them apart from their competitors such as detergent to clean fuel injection systems, stability against oxidation and heat, winterization, and more. As the energy supply market shifts, partnerships to create loyalty and brand recognition will be increasingly important to achieve those goals.

Winter Preparation Suggestions for Diesel Fuel

TRUCK IN WINTER

If it is going to be very cold (click link here for minimum temperature forecasts), customers should make extra preparations to ensure that they have more success in operating equipment.  These include:

  1. Agitating tanks before use
  2. Allowing vehicles to warm up for longer than normal
  3. Moving portable fuel tanks indoors out of elements
  4. Starting vehicles during weekends to prevent settling
  5. SOS or like product on hand

PREPARING DIESEL FUEL FILTERS FOR WINTER

Make sure your dispensing units contain fuel filters. Before freezing temperatures replace filters with larger micro filters typically 30 microns or greater. The filter should not be a water removal (hydrosorb) filter in most situations.

Make sure filters on diesel vehicles are replaced within regular truck maintenance schedules. If the truck or tractor filter is doing its job, it will contain some level of moisture. Typical cold start related issues are the result of diesel engine filters icing not gelling.

PREPARING DIESEL STORAGE TANKS FOR WINTER

-Inspect tanks for areas that need to be shored up (vent caps, fill caps)

-Replace filters with at least 30 microns, and make sure that they are not old and full of obstructions

-Check for water bottoms and remove if present

-Treat the entire volume of the tank, not just the delivered fuel

-Check to make sure that the tank is located in a place that will not be leaked on from directly above if possible

Remind customers not to leave the hose in the snow!

Lubricity and Diesel Fuel Additive Packages

There are a few widespread concerns that we think about as cold weather settles in. As additive manufacturers, we field questions like: How cold can it get before my fuel stops working?” or “What can I do to lower my overall operability?”.

These are the right questions with answers dependent on several factors. While cold weather often makes us focus on things like cold flow, de-icer, wax anti-settling agent, and handleability, lubricity is still just as important as ever.

Critical Applications of Lubricity


With the change to Ultra Low Sulfur Diesels and High-Pressure Common Rail (HPCR) injectors, lubricity is more critical than ever. Diesel engines use fuel to lubricate important fuel injection components. High-pressure common-rail injection systems rely on these parts to move thousands of times a minute under intense pressure and heat. Because of this, organizations like EMA’s and the NCWM recognize the need for a higher level of lubricity to prevent mechanical wear and premature part replacement.

When fuel does not have the proper amount of lubricity, it leads to improper lubrication between moving parts, resulting in premature wear. Eventually, parts can completely wear out, needing early replacement—these replacements are an unnecessary and avoidable expense in most cases.

Even though lubricity takes a back seat to the winterization properties of fuel when it gets cold, it is still crucial. As winter approaches, refiners change how they refine fuel that could lead to a lower lubricity content. #1 blending is also very common to lower the cloud point that leads to lower lubricity content. Several states reduce their bio blending requirements in the wintertime. Since biodiesel is naturally more lubricative, it can also affect the lubricity levels. Often these changes occur without consumer knowledge or awareness of their effects.

Testing and Measuring Measuring

high frequency reciprocating rig used for lubricity testing

How do you measure lubricity? You can measure the lubricity of fuel using the High-Frequency Reciprocating Rig test, most commonly referred to as the HFRR. The HFRR test runs by submerging a metal plate in fuel and rubbing a ball bearing on it at a controlled pressure and rate. At the end of the trial, they examine the ball bearing and measure the wear scar’s size from the friction. A lower number means a smaller wear scar and, therefore, better fuel lubricity.

OK, so what is the proper lubricity level that I will need to ensure my engine is protected? ASTM’s specification for diesel fuel to be sold in the USA states that it must have no higher than a 520 um wear scar on the HFRR test. Major engine manufacturers, and the National Council of Weights, among other organizations, have recognized that no more than a 460 um wear scar is preferred. As a result of their recommendation, 460 um is widely considered the preferred lubricity level for fuels to ensure proper wear protection. 

What can ET Products do?

ET Products designs additive components to work effectively in all engine designs (both modern and older styles) and reach the desired 460 um HFRR rating on nearly all fuel types and sources found in North America.

ET Products laboratory also owns an HFRR machine to continually monitor and test fuel sources to ensure that our chemistry works appropriately to give the desired outcomes our customers require. Many different factors can affect our customers’ lubricity level (biodiesel, #1, refined winter fuel, etc.). That’s why it’s essential to monitor and pay attention to lubricity levels regularly.

By: Seth Rotermund, ET Products

How to prevent a plugged fuel filter with diesel fuel additives

Winter diesel fuel additives are used to prevent a plugged fuel filters and increase the winter operability of diesel fuel.


How can you prevent a plugged fuel filter?

When properly used, cold filter plugging point (CFPP) additives change the shape and size of wax crystals so they can pass through fuel system filters at lower ambient temperatures than without the use of these additives.

A wax anti-settling additive (WASA) can prevent wax settling if used in the additive package. WASA additives disperse the treated wax so it stays suspended in the fuel and does not settle on the bottom of the tank. The CFPP temperature is now more reliable due to the WASA component.


A caveat of diesel fuel additives and CFPP treatment: TIME

The longer a treated fuel sits in a “Slow Moving Tank” at low temperatures, the more likely gravity will promote the settling of wax at the bottom of the tank. 


The increased wax density overwhelms filters on startup (the fuel pick-up is normally on the bottom of the tank). Fuel filter plugging will occur at a temperature higher than the CFPP temperature.


Testing Methods Fuel Testing is of extreme importance. To evaluate wax settling performance in CFPP additives, a treated and untreated fuel sample is cooled to sub-zero temperatures. The sample sits undisturbed and time lapse photos are taken. 
The resulting photos show the rate at which wax settles and visually indicates the reliability of the given additive at a selected treat rate.


Conclusion It is notable that the additives tested exhibit significant differences in WASA performance. CFPP additives with higher levels of WASA additive visibly indicate the most reliable operability. 


When concerned about a critical application, i.e. such as a state DOT bid or another requirement that has a hard CFPP target to meet and penalties associated with non-attainment of the target CFPP, one should look for the additive products that provide the best protection from settling.

Preventing Plugged Fuel Filters with Winter Diesel Fuel Additives

Two fuel samples of the same fuel; all held at -15F for three days.

·Sample I: treated with CFPP additive at manufacturer’s recommended dose of 1000 ppm

·Sample II: treated with CFPP additive at manufacturer’s recommended dose of 800 ppm

Both additives claim to have a WASA component.

Sample I

CFPP additive @ 1000 ppm, reported CFPP = -28F Soak temperature -15F

Day 1: Settling Started

Day 2: Settling Intensified

Day 3, Settling is greatest, a vehicle no-start, wax will accumulate at the bottom of the tank and overwhelm/plug a filter.

Sample II

CFPP additive @ 800 ppm, reported CFPP = -30F Soak temperature -15F

Day 1: Homogenous Wax suspension

 

Day 2: Homogenous Wax, even suspension

Day 3: Homogenous Wax, even suspension

ET Products Addresses Today’s Market – November 2020

Whether commercial, construction, trucking, or agricultural, customers ask and expect more from their fuel suppliers than ever before.

As recently as five years ago, fuel jobbers and distributors sold fuel with a single thought in mind: price. However, today’s end-users are asking for more, and fuel suppliers are having to not only earn their customers’ business but must be able to provide value.

With the cost of equipment rising every year along with the costs of  parts and maintenance, it is more important than ever to eliminate downtime.  Most experienced end-users understand that quality product from their fuel suppliers is a key to lowering costs, and reducing downtime.  Communicating the extra effort that you are taking to improve fuel quality and provide this valuable service is very important.

Many fuel suppliers report the need to come up with ways to prove value.  ET Products has a lot of experience in helping out partners get the message out in an effective way.  These value add-ons could be longer or better service hours, more convenient fueling options, or contract pricing.  We also work hard to support our partners if and when  issues arise to allow suppliers to stay ahead of their competition.

ET Products’ team is experienced in helping our partners present solutions to existing or future problems in order to build value and trust with their customer base.  We believe that it is essential to not only produce great chemical solutions, but also back them up with laboratory testing to research effectiveness, and optimize our performance.  Routine testing for cloud, CFPP, or bio content, can assist field personnel and customers on all fuel-related problems and concerns.

-Rob Frerking, ET Products

Fall 2020: Moisture Control and Preventative Maintenance

Taking care of customers has always been, and should be, a priority for businesses. Lower fuel pricing brings in new additional variables. Customers are purchasing more fuel and storing it for more extended periods. This change can create a perfect recipe for water accumulation, stability issues, and microbial growth.

As fuel sits in tanks for longer than standard times in the spring, summer, and fall, it will be susceptible to increased moisture condensation. As moisture levels continue to increase, the fuel will get closer to reaching its saturation point. Meaning the moisture could separate and settle to the bottom of tanks where microbial growth could occur. A critical piece is to address any moisture-related issues in the fall to prevent them from causing problems in the cold winter. If there is no preventative maintenance program in place throughout the year, getting any potential issues resolved in the fall is a must!

Additive companies can take care of customers by testing their tanks for moisture levels, free moisture, and microbial contamination. If there is excess or free moisture found, running a product with Anti/Icer Moisture Control can remove the moisture and prevent the breeding ground for microbial growth.

*Note: if a large amount of free water on the bottom, pumping/draining it out is the best course of action. If the fuel contains microbial growth, use one of our biocide products to kill the growth at the ‘Kill Rate.’ Consider testing and treating your bulk plant tanks with moisture control or biocide to ensure issues are not getting transferred to customers.

The most important part is to have a preventative maintenance program in place and to follow it. We can help build a plan to achieve the goals you need.

Alex Bradley, ET Products / abradley@etproducts.com

NEFI HEAT Virtual Tradeshow Booth

Introduction:

Who is ET Products?

ET Products Introduction Eastern Region

Diesel Additives:

Power Max Anti-Foulant Deposit Control

Premium Diesel 2019

Heating Oil Additives:

ET Heat Assure Heating Oil Additives

2320 PI 2020-7-29 20000 HAMF

2460 PI 2020-7-29 7500 HAMF

Cold Flow Additives:

Wax Fallout Brochure

Winter Treatment Methods

Slow Moving Tanks Winter 2020

Moisture Related Fuel Issues

ET Handout Bio CFI additives

Winterizing Fuel Winter 2020

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