Regardless of the location of the fuel storage tank; above-ground (AST) or under-ground (UST), the potential for contamination is a reality. The level of risk will depend, of course, on a number of variables; supplier handling, area grading and manhole location, temperature variations, proper venting, storage duration, and scheduled maintenance.
All storage tanks undergo natural aspiration, or "tank breathing." The continuous expansion and contraction of the tank draws in moisture and organic matter from the exterior environment, and into the tank. As these materials accumulate, the storage environment fills with water and sludge, which is a breeding ground for microbes.
The presence of contaminates in fuel will have a negative impact the engines that rely on them, shortening component life, and increasing the risk of failure.
Diesel fuel undergoes a natural aging process, also known as amalgamation, which results in the formation of gums and resins. This process can be accelerated by improper handling and storage, as well as through the course of periodic startups where heated, yet uncombusted, fuel is returned to the tank. However it occurs, whether naturally or otherwise, the process alters the physical characteristic of the fuel considerably. As gums and resins develop the fuel thickens and its quality content diminishes, as does the fuel's performance capability.
Utilizing poor-quality, aged fuel can impact your equipment's warranty requirements, as well as lower engine performance causing: filter plugging, smoking, loss of power, excessive wear-and-tear on engine components, sticking valves, and poor injector performance.
It doesn't matter what industry your in: Data storage, Communications, Semiconductor manufacturing, Property Management, Healthcare, Public Safety, Utilities, or Trucking & Logistics. Today's Ultra-Low Sulfur fuel may be better for the environment, but has less lubricating properties and a shorter shelf-life than similarly refined fuels of the past. The quality of the fuel you use has a direct affect on the service capabilities of the equipment you rely on, and on your bottom-line.
Regular fuel maintenance prevents good fuel from becoming Hazardous Waste.
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