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Author Topic: Cold weather Diesel Additives.  (Read 2386 times)

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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Cold weather Diesel Additives.
« Reply #40 on: December 23, 2015, 04:56:18 AM »
OK, I understand your thoughts.  Can someone explain why when ULSD (ultra low sulphur diesel) became law, the amount of gelling increased dramatically?  It's now under control because of the plethora of additives added to every load, but I'm talking about the first winter with the ULSD.  Normal cold, abnormal breakdowns.  There was also a very real problem with algae growing in the fuel.  You know, that black slimy crap that gets in farm tanks after awhile.  They had a problem with this as well at the beginning before all the additives got it back under control. 

That's a good question and the answers are a bit complicated. The problems were not so much related to gelling as they were related to plugged fuel filters and corrosion of metal surfaces. Here is some background information taken from a report  written about the problems. You can read the full report here ULSD Storage System Corrosion but it is 147 pages long.


To protect public health and the environment, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Air Highway Diesel final rule stipulated a 97% reduction in sulfur content of highway diesel fuel beginning in June 2006. Accordingly, diesel fuel was altered so that the sulfur content was reduced from 500 parts-per-million (ppm) in low sulfur diesel (LSD) to 15 ppm normally referred to as ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD).  This rule was implemented with a phased approach where 80% of the change over occurred in 2006 and the remaining 20% occurred by 2010. 
It was anticipated that the change to ULSD would impact lubricity, energy content, materials compatibility, and microbial growth. However, accelerated and increased corrosion was not foreseen as a likely outcome.  Almost simultaneously, the Renewable Fuel Standard established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandated significant increase in the volume of biofuels production.  Subsequently, there was an increase in retail stations storing and dispensing ethanol blends and biodiesel.  Since then, over 90% of all gasoline is being sold with 10% ethanol content. 
From as early as 2007, the Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) started receiving reports of unusually severe and accelerated corrosion of metal parts associated with storage tanks and equipment dispensing ULSD.  Reports include observations of a metallic coffee ground type substance clogging the dispenser filters and of corrosion and/or malfunctioning of seals, gaskets, tanks, meters, leak detectors, solenoid valves and riser pipes. These observations were reported to be occurring in as little as 6 months. The corrosion was reported on the unwetted, or ullage, portions of the tanks and equipment in addition to the wetted portions of UST equipment.


The conclusions from the study referenced above and completed in 2012 were as follows:

The project final hypothesis for this investigation is that corrosion in systems storing and dispensing ULSD is likely due to the dispersal of acetic acid throughout USTs.  It is likely produced by Acetobacter bacteria feeding on low levels of ethanol contamination. Dispersed into the humid vapor space by the higher vapor pressure (0.5 psi compared to 0.1 psi for ULSD) and by disturbances during fuel deliveries, acetic acid is deposited throughout the system.  This results in a cycle of wetting and drying of the equipment concentrating the acetic acid on the metallic equipment and corroding it quite severely and rapidly.

So the problems were caused by the unexpected presence of alcohol in the USLD in the storage tanks (USTs in the study) which led to the presence of acetic acid and corrosion on the metal surfaces. The end result was a red coffee ground like material clogging filters. In addition there was a problem with the cold flow properties of the biodiesel that was also introduced as an additive about the same time which resulted in more cold temperature gelling problems.

The moral of the story is when the government makes forced changes, don't expect everything to go smoothly.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline Ox

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Re: Cold weather Diesel Additives.
« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2015, 08:08:35 AM »
Thanks for that - a good read.   :P :laugh:
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline Polly

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Re: Cold weather Diesel Additives.
« Reply #42 on: December 27, 2015, 05:54:25 PM »
when it is still barely running put in a bottle of heet the red bottle  wall mart about 6 bucks a bottle works like a charm


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