Storing diesel fuel for a long time is not as simple as it appears to be. Since diesel is a refined product, it is good to use only for a limited period. Leaving it in a container for too long can cause it to degrade in quality and finally lose its ability to properly combust in a vehicle’s engine.
Since diesel is much less refined than petroleum, it has a greater deal of chemical stability and lasts longer.
In order to ensure proper storage of diesel fuel for a long period, several important things have to be taken into consideration. The storage solution you select should ensure that the fuel remains chemically stable while it is stored and microbes do not flourish in it.
Also remember, to carefully follow all the necessary guidelines and safety precautions that are associated with the storage of inflammable substances.
Storage duration of diesel fuel
The storage period for diesel can vary according to the conditions of its containment. If it is kept at a relatively low temperature and shielded from traces of moisture, diesel can retain its effectiveness for quite a long period ranging from 6 months to a year, or even more in some cases.
In order to preserve its effectiveness for a period spanning more than a year, fuel stabilizers and biocides have to be applied to the diesel fuel. The temperature must also be kept as low as possible, preferably below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tips for proper diesel fuel storage
Diesel fuel can retain its effectiveness for quite a long time and suffer minimum degradation of quality if the following guidelines are followed when storing it:
- The tank or container storing the diesel fuel must be completely sealed. No amount of moisture, no matter how small, should be allowed to penetrate the container and contaminate the fuel.
- The storage tank or container must be structurally sound with no cracks or leakages.
- If you are planning on storing diesel in an above ground tank, make sure that the opening at the top of it is completely sealed shut to avoid letting rain water enter the container and ruin the fuel.
- Leave as little space empty in the tank as possible to ensure that there is no room for water to accumulate in it if the seal is somehow compromised.
- If you are storing diesel fuel in an underground tank, i.e. if more than a tenth of the tank is below the ground level, following the guidelines set by the EPAfor the safe storage of fuel.
- Regularly check the tank to ensure that there are no signs of corrosion (if the tank is made of metal).
- Use an effective biocide to eliminate any unwanted bacterial growth in the diesel fuel. Bacteria can easily compromise the stability of fuel products and cause them to deteriorate in quality.
- Antioxidants can also be added to the diesel fuel to prevent it from being oxidized by reacting with the oxygen in the air.
- Fuel stabilizers can also be used to nullify undesirable reactions of the diesel fuel with metals like iron and copper.
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