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Problems With Diesel Fuel Storage Tanks

In the field, fuel storage overwhelmingly means diesel and/or biodiesel blends, stored in large and small tanks, for use in stand-alone generators, vehicles and boats.  Some power plants that run on coal or natural gas also store #2 diesel fuel for availability as a start-up fuel to get their turbines going again after a planned or unplanned shutdown.


Fuel storage is an integral part of the energy plans of many businesses and most fleets and municipalities.  Fuels in storage have to be available for use at a moment's notice (whether after a hurricane emergency or just simply for when a long-haul truck pulls up to fill up).  These businesses and organizations rely on stored fuels to maintain the same consistent quality over the weeks and months of storage as when they were put in as fresh fuel.  They rely on their fuel being there when they need it most.

Preserving Stored Fuel Quality

Maintaining fuel storage quality is therefore essential to the plans of any business or group storing fuel in tanks.  This means preventing oxidative fuel breakdown (breakdown through oxidation) from exposure to air and light, preventing hydrolytic breakdown through exposure to water, preventing catalytic breakdown from exposure to certain metals, and keeping the storage tank free from microbes.

Oxidative breakdown can be prevented through preventive treatment with fuel stabilizers that interrupt the chain of oxidation reaction that happen in the fuel upon exposure to air and elements containing oxygen.  Hydrolytic breakdown can be prevented by controlling the buildup of water within the tank, which is sometimes inevitable depending on how long the fuel is stored.

Those needing to preserve stored fuel quality turn to fuel stabilizers like DEE-ZOL LIFE for diesel fuel and BIO DEE-ZOL LIFE for stored biodiesel blends. They protect stored fuels and extend the useable storage life of these essential investment, helping the fuel user get the most out of their fuel. 

Water Problems

More seriously, the build-up of water is a big problem for fuel storage because it gives an avenue for microbes to invade, thrive and grow in the tank, destroying the fuel quality and rendering it almost useless for the future purpose the fuel storer has for it.  The ultra-low sulfur diesel fuels of today are much more susceptible to these microbial infestations because the sulfur that is no longer in the diesel fuel used to act as a natural microbicide. When a microbial problem happens, an infestation is difficult to get rid without using a biocide to kill the microbes.

The biocide issue is a key distinction that fuel consumers may not be aware of.  Quality fuel treatments like ETHANOL DEFENSE,DFS PLUS and DEE-ZOL can help to control and disperse water as it condenses in a diesel or ethanol blend fuel tank.  And this is an important step toward minimizing the conditions most commonly associated with microbes to grow and multiply and thrive.  But sometimes they do find their way in, and when this happens, a biocide like BELLICIDE is needed to keep the microbial colonies.  BELLICIDE not only knocks out existing infestations with complete microbial kills in as little as two hours, but is also an extremely cost-effective maintenance product to keep microbes away from growing in fuel tanks, with low treat rates around 1 ounce to 80 gallons of fuel.

Sludge Busting and Biomass

Beyond protecting the quality of stored fuels and keeping them microbe- and water-free, excessive buildup of sludge and biomass in the storage tank is a problem that develops slowly but surely. Using a commercial-grade treatment like BELL TANK TREATMENT SDF solves the sludge problem, giving a cleaner fuel storage system with less space lost to unusable sludge.

Beyond this, a treatment like BELL TANK TREATMENT SDF also can be used to break up problematic formations of biomass. When used in conjunction with a biocide like BELLICIDE, the combination proves markedly improves the ability of the biocide to kill all microbes and keep the system microbe-free in the long run.

Stored fuels represent a significant financial investment for many companies, municipalities and fleets.  No fleet or fuels manager wants to have to go through the headache of figuring out what they're going to do with several thousand gallons of wrecked fuel.  So it makes prudent sense, from a financial and operational standpoint, to undertake good housekeeping and preventive measures to keep the fuel quality from degrading.

Hover over the radio buttons on the image below to see the most common causes of contamination.

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