Dealing With Fuel Contamination During Winter

Now that the cold weather has set in, winter is firmly here, and we’ve entered the most difficult season for storing fuels, especially in industrial amounts. The colder months pose particular challenges to those using or storing large volumes of fuels in industrial or commercial settings. Fuel contamination is a much higher risk during this time, and if left unnoticed, the contamination could ruin your fuel by spring! This is why it is vital to keep a close eye on the condition of your fuels, especially if you’re storing them for longer periods of time. Contaminated fuel can cause issues with your vehicle engines, reduce the efficiency of your machines, or force you to throw away unusable fuel or unsellable product.

The colder weather can cause additional stresses for long term or large scale fuel storage for a number of reasons. The colder weather brings with it wind, rain, and snow, which can erode your storage tanks and cause additional rust to form. Depending on which fuels you’re storing, consistency of your fuel may change and become thicker and more gel-like, making transferring fuels without contamination more difficult. Most significantly, the cold can cause moisture to condense on the inside of your fuel tanks, gradually contaminating your fuel with water. So always check your fuel regularly during the colder months for any signs of contamination such as a cloudy appearance, slimy residue in the tanks, or a drop in efficiency from your engines.

If you do spot any signs of contamination, it is important to conduct a fuel polishing to remove all contaminants as soon as possible! This will limit the contamination and any potential losses of fuel. Fuel polishing will filter out any water, physical dirt, and microbial contaminants to only leave pure fuel left in your tank.

If you have spotted contamination and had your fuel polished, a tank cleaning would also be well advised! A professional tank cleaning will remove any physical remains from the tank to ensure your fuel won’t be re-contaminated when you return it. Even if you haven’t seen any signs of contamination, carrying out an annual fuel polishing and tank cleaning as spring arrives will help ensure your fuel continues to perform at peak efficiency and will stem the build up of any potential contaminants.