Diesel Fuel Quality

The designs of diesel engines striving to increase

performance have made a lot of advancements in engine

fuel delivery to the combustion chamber. The diesel

engines of today are much quieter, smoother, and

also more powerful. The quality of diesel fuel on

the other hand has not advanced at the same rate as

the improvements of engines.

As soon as it is produced, diesel fuel begins to

deteriorate. Less than 30 days of refining, all

diesel fuel, regardless of the brand, goes through a

natural process called oxidation. This process forms

varnishes and gums in the fuel by causing the

molecules of the fuel to lengthen and start bonding

together.

Now, these components will drop to the bottom of the

fuel tank and form diesel sludge. The fuel will

begin to turn very dark in color, smell bad, and

cause the engine to smoke. The engine starts to

smoke as some of these clusters are small enough to

pass through the engine filtration and on to the

combustion chamber.

As the clusters begin to increase in size, only a

small amount of the molecules will get burned, as

the rest will go out the exhaust as unburned fuel

and smoke.

Its estimated that eight out of every ten diesel

engine failures are directly related to poor quality

and contaminated fuel. The build up of contamination

in the fuel systems and storage tanks can clog

filters, thereby causing the engine to shut down,

and damage to the engine to occur.

The number one reason for bad fuel is due to the

increasing popularity of diesel power and the

accompanying increased demand for more diesel fuel.

Long ago, diesel fuel remained in the refinery

storage tanks long enough to naturally seperate and

begin to settle, allowing the clean fuel to be

drawn apart. Now, with the demand getting higher

than ever, the fuel is never stationary long enough

to settle, and the suspended water and solids are

passed on to the person buying the fuel – you.

The changes in refinery techniques is also a

problem. In order to get more products, diesel

fuel is being refined for more marginal portions of

the crude barrel. This results in a lower grade

product that is thicker and also contains a lot

more contamination.

As time continues to pass and technology gets better

and better, one can only hope that the quality of

diesel fuel improves. As it stands now, the quality

isn’t good at all. If you run diesel fuel, all

you can basically hope for is that the fuel you

are getting isn’t contaminated.

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