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Fuel System Preventive Maintenance - What Essential Tools?

Posted by: Erik Bjornstad

The idea of preventive maintenance is to do a little work on the front end to save a lot of work and expense on the back end. You exercise and eat right – preventive maintenance on your body.  Your company spends money on filter and oil changes for vehicles and equipment – preventive maintenance on valuable equipment. 

Given that today's stored fuels are much more prone to problems that past fuels more ably resisted, preventive fuel maintenance isn't really optional anymore. There are essential elements of a comprehensive fuel preventive maintenance program, and those require a set of essential tools.

Essential Tools For Fuel Preventive Maintenance

Killing microbes is top of the list - a biocide treatment is an essential tool for that. But it's not the only thing you'll want to have on hand. Next-generation microbe detection and monitoring technology will ensure that the job of killing microbes is done. If you don't use something, some kind of testing, to confirm the job is done, you're left relying on assumptions and hopes.

Protecting storage tank surfaces from corrosion is important, too.  Killing microbes will eliminate one of the pillar causes of corrosion in tanks.  But adding a liquid corrosion inhibitor to the fuel gives your tank an added layer of protection that will help in the long run.  There are options for this that often combine multiple functions - some corrosion protectants also break up sludge and biomass in the tank. There's even a biocide you can use that provides corrosion protection alongside its microbial-killing ability (that trade name is ClearKill). It's always good if you can do multiple important things at once.

A third essential tool is something to chemically stabilize the fuel to keep it from darkening in storage. Killing the microbes is an important step to removing one of the causes of instability in the fuel. But you need to add a stabilizer beyond this.  A fuel stabilizer will protect the fuel against the kind of chemical reactions that inevitably happen as the fuel is exposed to oxygen and water and other bad actors in its storage environment. And a stabilizer is the only thing that will do this - in other words, there's no shortcut for getting around having to use one.

So we would recommend, for stored fuel preventive maintenance, don't take shortcuts. It's always easier to do a job right if you have the right tools.

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This post was published on May 11, 2023 and was updated on May 11, 2023.

Topics: Fuel Storage, Fuel and Tank Services, Fuel Pulse, Fuel Testing