Reverso Blog

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The Low-Down on Ultra-Low-Sulfur Diesel Boat Fuel

Tammy Anstett - Friday, November 18, 2011
The Low-Down on Ultra-Low-Sulfur Diesel Boat Fuel - Anything to Worry About?

http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/magazine/SeaOct11_UltraLowSulfurDiesel.pdf

ALEXANDRIA, Va., November 17, 2011 - As a way to reduce particulate matter, ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD), with only 15 ppm or less of sulfur, was mandated for use in most vehicles, boats and machinery as of December 2010. As a practical matter, however, ULSD has been around since late 2006 when 2007 model year vehicles with more advanced emissions control devices began requiring its use in cars. And since most fuel refiners don't have the capacity to offer more than one type of diesel, it's also been sold at marinas ever since.


During that time, the BoatUS Damage Avoidance Program has kept a close look out for any potential problems with the newer, environmentally-friendly fuel. Recently, the boat owner association's Damage Avoidance Program publication, Seaworthy, The BoatUS Marine Insurance and Damage Avoidance Report, investigated the issue and has these findings to share:

Lubricity: In diesel engines, having enough "lubricity" in the fuel is critical - without it, the engine would grind itself to a premature death. A lot of publicity has been given to ULSD because the process of removing sulfur from diesel fuel also removes much of the fuel's lubricity. Contrary to what some have said, however, lubricity is not a problem with ULSD. Minimum lubricity is a requirement of the ASTM-D975 diesel fuel standard and oil companies typically use a synthetic additive to return fuel to its pre-ULSD lubricity levels.  

Cetane: All diesel fuel must have a cetane rating of at least 40. Most regular diesel fuel has a cetane rating of 43 to 45, which should be fine for most boat engines.  The good news is that the cetane numbers remained the same with ULSD.

Gaskets: When the transition was made to low-sulfur diesel (LSD) in 1993, there were problems with leaking gaskets. Newer gaskets that resist leaking were developed, but there were some fears that the gaskets might not stand up to ULSD. After talking to numerous marina owners and engine manufacturers, leaking gaskets don't appear to be a problem.

Water and "Bugs": Microbial growth - bugs - need water to grow and have always been a concern with diesel fuel. ULSD holds less water than older, higher-sulfur fuels, which means that any water entering the tank is less likely to be absorbed and instead more likely to become a breeding ground for bugs. Biocides (and cold weather) kill the bugs but their tiny little carcasses pile up in funereal goo at the bottom of the tank. Tanks may need to be cleaned more often to prevent clogged filters and corrosion. The best defense is to keep tanks as full as possible (especially over winter storage) and keep a routine eye on the water separator.

Courtesy of NEWS From BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at http://www.BoatUS.com/pressroom 

 

September Special - Free Additive with DFS Cart Purchase

Tammy Anstett - Friday, September 16, 2011
 
 
Increased Combustion Efficiency and Less Maintenance  

ILFC Ten 35 Combustion Catalyst, Burn Rate Modifier and Lubricant offers complete combustion thereby producing more useful energy while reducing soot and smoke. It’s also highly concentrated – 1 oz. treats 80 gallons of diesel fuel.  

ILFC Ten35 Provides:

  • Greater Fuel Efficiency
  • Stabilized Fuel in Storage
  • Reduced Combustion System Wear
  • Reduced Particulate              

ILFC Ten35 Helps:

  • Demulsify Fuel
  • Inhibit Fuel Tank Corrosion
  • Eliminate Algae Growth
  • Prevent Catalytic Oxidation
 
A Primary Filter is Already in Place – Use It to Polish Your Fuel

The only true Fuel Polishing Module available. Just add the filter of your choice.

  • Easy to install module turns any filter into a comprehensive fuel polishing system.
  • Works with most standard filters. Choose the filter that suits your needs. (e.g. Separ Filter, Racor, Fleetguard, Yamaha, Sierra, Baldwin, Cummins, Mallory, Dorman, Fram, etc.)
  • Compatible with middle-distillate fuels and fuel oils (not gasoline)
 
 
Learn More About Portable Fuel Polishing

You can have the efficiency of a built-in system with the convenience of portability. With a 630 GPH (2,400 LPH) flow rate, the DFS Cart provides the power necessary to remediate and clean tanks up to 3000 gallons. Utilizing a Separ Filter, the Cart eliminates sludge and water buildup in the tank, has 99.9% water separation (Certified TUV report using SAE J1839) and 99% particulate removal.

An electronic control box with 5-hour mechanical timer, LED indicators for element replacement and backflushing, safety shutdown and alarms for clogged filter and water make cleaning your diesel fuel easy, convenient and economical. Learn more here.

 

Fuel Polishing question - Effective Fuel Management - You Need a Plan

Tammy Anstett - Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Storage of diesel is often an overlooked area – a popular misconception is that diesel fuel is “good for life”.
The reality is very different.

To fully understand the issues at play, it is worth taking into account several areas:
• The Diesel fuel quality standard
• The specification of supplied diesel
• Known issues
• Recommendations from the fuel supplier
• Discovering issues before they become problems
• Short and long term solutions

To look at these issues, we have been in conversation with BP and have utilised their available library of fuel data.

To see the full report, click here.



Now that's Clean Fuel! Fuel Polishing Works Wonders

Tammy Anstett - Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Amazing difference!
Fuel Polishing for the TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO COAST GUARD 

This is an extreme case as the fuel sat unused in contaminated tanks for nearly two years. A Reverso 600 GPH was used to complete the polishing. The FPS 210 can perform equally well and the FPS 150 is good for smaller tanks and the FPS 80 for very small tanks.

Fuel Polishing question - Fuel Replacement

Tammy Anstett - Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Q: We have a number of diesel fuel tanks for backup generators.  We normally replace our fuel once per year and use very little during the course of a normal year. Our tanks are inside and never exposed to very high or very low temperatures. Does fuel polishing improve this replacement time? By how much? 

A: Yes, fuel polishing systems when installed correctly will prevent the accumulation of water in the bottom of the tank and extend the life of your fuel thereby reducing your replacement time.

Water at the bottom of the tank allows bacteria, mold and other biological organisms to live in the tank, feed on the fuel and create sludge. In addition, fuel oxidizes over time which creates the dark brown color that you see. This too can all be filtered out with a polisher.

(The use of additives such as ILFC Ten-35 should be added to the tank every time you fuel or every six (6) months. This will cause all water in the tank to coalesce and drop to the bottom as Free Water where the polishing system can remove it before bacteria starts to grow. ILFC is also a stabilizer and Cetane enhancer.)

You can easily extend the life of the fuel beyond two (2) years and in some cases three (3) years with fuel polishing. The ROI on a large fuel polisher would be one (1) year or less. 

Cetane Numbers and Your Engine

Tammy Anstett - Wednesday, September 22, 2010
We are now offering the ILFC Ten 35 Fuel Additive in our store. ILFC TEN 35 gives you greater fuel efficiency and is designed to be completely soluble in fuel oils and can be added directly to fuel in storage. Ten 35 helps increase your cetane number and is core part of our Fuel Management Systems.

Why Do I Need To Worry About Cetane Numbers?

The longer diesel fuel is stored, the lower the cetane number. Even if the fuel quality is good (low particulate, sludge or water buildup) the fuel will not perform at the level necessary for the engine to run at optimal performance.

What is a Cetane Number?

The cetane number is to diesel fuel what the octane number is to gasoline. The higher the cetane number - the better the fuel will burn. It is the performance of diesel fuel’s combustion quality - not a measure of the fuel quality itself.  A higher cetane number indicates more energy is available to the engine. Therefore, you have greater fuel efficiency due to a shorter ignition delay time and more complete combustion of the fuel.

An appropriately high cetane number means improved cold starting, smoother running, less smoke at start-up, improved fuel efficiency, improved engine durability, fewer emissions, more power and reduced noise and vibration.

How Does the Cetane Number Affect Engine Performance?

Running a diesel engine on fuel with a lower than recommended cetane number can result in rough operation (noise and vibration), difficulty in starting – especially in cold temperatures, low power output, excessive sludge deposits, increased exhaust emissions and excessive wear.

The ASTN Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils (D-975) states. "The cetane number requirements depend on engine design, size, nature of speed and load variations, and on starting and atmospheric conditions. Increase in cetane number over values actually required does not materially improve engine performance. Accordingly, the cetane number specified should be as low as possible to insure maximum fuel availability."

Thus you should match engine cetane requirements with your fuel cetane levels for optimal performance.

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