Protecting your fuel from water & phase separation
Maintaining your gasoline’s octane level and preserving your fuel’s quality will ensure that your business can sell fuel and continue to service your customers. If your gas station was located in the Sandy storm area, the quality of your fuel may be seriously compromised by the presence of ethanol phase separation and water in diesel tanks. Here are some important tips for detecting and correcting these problems.
Ethanol Blended Fuels – Nine tips to examine your fuel and fix it.
- Apply paste to a measuring stick and cover the stick to a minimum 36 inches. Be sure to use a paste designed to detect phase separation.
- Place the coated stick into each of the gasoline tanks for one minute and remove it.
- If the bottom of the measuring stick turns a different color, phase separation is present.
- If phase separation is detected- STOP – Do not pump this fuel because it will damage gasoline engines.
- Removing the liquid from the tank bottom is not a solution. In a phase separated tank, the tank bottom contains an ethanol and water mixture. Removing the bottom liquid, especially the ethanol that contains 113 octane, will drastically reduce the octane level of the entire tank and could destroy its contents.
- Retailers impacted by phase separation should be aware of new technology that can restore the octane in phase separated tanks and re-blend the fuel back to its original 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline composition.
- If the measuring stick did not show phase separation but had colored speckles at the stick bottom, the tank is in a compromised state and should be checked twice a day for phase separation. In this condition, the fuel is saturated with water but not enough to cause phase separation. The ethanol, gasoline and water are at a delicate balance and the addition of the slightest amount of water could cause the fuel to separate. As a preventative measure, many dealers will have new fuel delivered to absorb the suspended water. The dealer must make sure the new fuel is completely dry and contains no water otherwise phase separation may harm the entire tank of fuel.
- If your tank has phase separated or contains phase do not discard the fuel. The tank’s contents can be salvaged using a process called phase separation reversal (PSR) that can remove the water from the ethanol and re-blend the ethanol and gasoline.
- ATS Environmental PSR experts have salvaged over 300,000 gallons of ethanol blended gasoline. Before you discard the fuel or try to remove the phase at the bottom of the tank, contact ATS.
Five tips to remember for treating Diesel Fuel
- Coat a measuring stick with water detecting paste. Place the stick in the diesel tank for one minute and remove.
- Water will show up as a change in color at the bottom of the stick.• When water is present, it is important to have it immediately removed. Water damages the quality of the fuel by creating an environment for algae and bacterial growth.
- Vac truck services are not an effective solution. Vac trucks only pump out water from the tank bottom, but do not clean the fuel or remove suspended water that causes algae/bacterial growth and impacts fuel quality.
- Water removal should be performed by a company like ATS Environmental that has a guaranteed process for removing suspended water, filtering fuel and preventing algae/bacteria contamination.