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How To Store Diesel Fuel

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Anyone who needs to store diesel for any amount of time needs to take measures to keep it safe and free from contamination. Diesel fuel storage tanks can be used and there are various options available for location and size of tanks. This type of fuel can remain viable for several months if properly stored. Selection of the storage container as well as the location for storage is critical and safety and longevity of the fuel should be accounted for.

Diesel fuel storage tanks

If you need to store a small amount of diesel fuel, you can keep it in portable 5-gallon gas cans that you take to the gas station. For larger amounts, you need to have special storage containers, such as 55 gallon drums or a stand-alone tank.

Larger diesel tanks, made of metal or specially formulated polyethylene, can be installed above ground or below ground, depending on the site and local regulations. These tanks can also be mounted on the back of trucks when necessary. The exact size of the tank is, of course, dependent on how much fuel you need to store.

How long can you store diesel fuel?

Diesel fuel can remain viable for 6 to 12 months in weather of 85 degrees. After that, the fuel will begin to react with the oxygen in the tank. This reaction can lead to diesel becoming gummy. If the diesel becomes gummy, it will clog fuel filters, which can cause engine troubles. The gummy fuel will not burn well and can create a layer of soot and carbon on the inside of the engine. One option is to use stability treatments designed to counteract against the oxidation.

Other factors can also lead to diesel fuel degradation. Water in the fuel can lead to the growth of fungus. Fungus can release organic compounds, which will break down the diesel molecules. High temperatures can speed up the gumming process. Contact with metals like zinc and copper can cause a chemical reaction with the diesel fuel. Certain additives can also accelerate the aging process.

How to store diesel fuel for safety and longevity

Diesel is a flammable liquid and is dangerous unless handled and stored properly. Children and pets should have no access to the storage tanks to avoid accidents. Adult access to the tanks should be limited to only those who need access for refueling or maintenance of the tanks.

The fuel should be stored in an isolated area away from residences. An above-ground container may be installed in a building or under a lean-to. This location helps prevent water from harming the tank and prevents radiant heat from evaporating the diesel.

It is important to keep water from pooling on top of the tank. Pooled water can cause rust in metal containers and can encourage insect and bacterial growth on all containers.

It is also important to monitor the storage tank for water build up. Water will accumulate due to condensation and then drip on top of the diesel fuel. Accumulated water is a prime breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause premature breakdown of the diesel fuel. Draining the water off is one solution. Another solution is to use biocide additives.

Keeping the fuel away from ignition sources is important. While diesel has a higher ignition point than gasoline, it is still flammable. Any electrical outlets nearby should be rated for explosions. No smoking should be allowed within 50 to 100 feet of the storage area.

If you are in need of clear, dyed, or winterized diesel, contact us here at Kendrick Oil. We offer high-quality fuel products and services throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Give us a call at (806) 250-3991 or Contact Us via email if you have any questions