Why Is Fuel Testing Important?

 

Cleanliness Standards

Today’s diesel engine fuel systems are designed with tighter clearances and operate under higher pressures than those of the past. Fuel cleanliness is critical in keeping your fuel system operating efficiently and preventing premature wear of vital components.

But, That’s Not All…

The cleanliness of the fuel is not the only thing that should be considered. The correct fuel test package can help identify the root cause of many issues, including:

  • Engine performance concerns
  • Fuel filter plugging
  • Excessive engine smoking
  • Lubricity concerns
  • Fuel quality concerns for both winter and summer operations
  • Bio fuel concerns
  • Growth of bacteria, fungi & mold
  • Sulphur content validation

At a minimum, routine fuel testing should consist of:

  • Fuel cleanliness
  • Fuel quality
  • Fuel contamination

When To Test Your Fuel

The recommended interval for fuel testing is dependent on the industry and the volume of fuel consumed. For industries with large consumptions, with resupply of fuel on a daily basis (tanker loads), you might consider checking fuel cleanliness on each delivery. For others, a fuel quality and contamination check may only be needed twice per year, at the start of the winter months when switching to winter grade fuels, and then again when switching back to the summer blend.

Based on the results of these tests, or if you suspect fuel-related issues, advanced fuel testing should be considered.

At POLARIS Laboratories®, we offer a wide range of fuel test packages. Please feel free to contact us and we will gladly assist you in customizing a fuel test package to meet your needs.

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Published  February 12, 2019

What You Need to Know about ASTM D975

What diesel fuel testing do you really need?

What is ASTM D975?

We’ve recently gotten a flood of inquiries regarding testing diesel fuel for ASTM D975, but there seems to be confusion on what ASTM D975 is and how it relates to monitoring the quality of diesel fuel. ASTM D975 is the Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils. It is not one test, but rather, it is the specification that describes 13 tests and their acceptable limits, which a diesel fuel must meet at the time of delivery.

Does your fuel meet the requirements?

As a diesel fuel purchaser, you can send a sample to your laboratory to confirm the fuel meets all of the ASTM D975 requirements, but that is unnecessary. Instead, ask your fuel supplier for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) and save yourself thousands of dollars. Just be aware, ASTM D975 does reference a handful of tests that are applicable to monitor in fuels post-delivery, because several fuel properties change over time.

Could storage tanks be impacting your fuel?

If your operation uses bulk fuel storage tanks or you have fuel being stored long-term in standby generators, then we do recommend testing your fuel at least annually – but not for the full suite of ASTM D975 tests. We’ve identified two concerns for long-term diesel fuel storage:

  1. Has the fuel become contaminated?
    • Controlling contamination is the biggest challenge for fuel storage. Water and debris can enter the tank, leading to a variety of issues, including biological growth and injector damage. It’s less likely, but diesel fuel may come in contact with another fluid including oil, coolant or gasoline. These contaminates could change fuel properties, such as flash point, impact ignition quality and cause tank corrosion.
  2. Has there been a change in the fuel’s properties to withstand temperature extremes?
    • You want to be aware of how well your fuel can withstand temperature changes. If you live in an area where ambient temperatures drop significantly in winter months, you need to monitor your fuel’s cloud point and pour point to ensure the fuel will stay fluid and not clog filters. A fuel’s thermal stability is also a critical property to monitor. A fuel with poor thermal stability will experience asphaltene fall out as it is exposed to high crank-case temperatures. This can also lead to plugged filters and abrasive fuel system wear.

As a diesel fuel purchaser dependent on diesel fuel to run your operation, it’s important to know what is included in ASTM D975 and how it effects your diesel fuel quality and cleanliness.

Click here to read more detailed information on diesel fuel testing recommendations.

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Published February 27, 2018

5 Reasons for Changing Diesel Fuel Distillation

POLARIS Laboratories® is changing the way we test the distillation of diesel fuels to provide quicker, more reliable results. The switch from ASTM D86 to ASTM D7345 will go into effect Autumn 2017.

Our laboratories have utilized ASTM D86 since we first started offering diesel fuel analysis. This method was established in 1921 and has been widely employed in the petrochemical industry. As with all tests, it has certain limitations in regards to the amount of sample required and the time it takes to perform. Automation has certainly helped over the years, but now more accurate, reliable and timely options exist.

ASTM D7345 Standard Test Method for Distillation of Petroleum Products and Liquid Fuels at Atmospheric Pressure (Micro Distillation Method) was recently approved for use in ASTM D975 Standard Specification of Diesel Fuel Oils. POLARIS Laboratories® has chosen to switch to this new method to better serve our customers.

1.    Accurate Results

ASTM D7345 shows certain advantages over ASTM D86, notably in the reproducibility of results. While some bias does exist between the two methods, this has been measured by ASTM and formulas are given to remove any of this bias. This means our customers should not see any significant difference in results.

2.    Reliable Data

By investing in new technology, POLARIS Laboratories® continues to ensure our service provides quality of results, and the reproducibility of ASTM D7345 is better than that of ASTM D86.

3.    Timely Analysis

POLARIS Laboratories® recognizes that time constraints are even more critical in today’s business practices. Even better, the analysis can be completed in a fraction of the time of the conventional ASTM D86 analysis.

4.    Efficient Sampling

ASTM D7345 requires only a tenth of the sample requirement of ASTM D86, which leaves more fuel available for follow-up testing.

5.    Improved Capabilities

ASTM D7345 allows for the analysis of B100 Biodiesel blends, something simply not possible under ASTM D86. As more of our customers adopt Biodiesel blends, POLARIS Laboratories® will be able to meet their testing needs.

 

 

With so many advantages to our customers, it was a simple choice to adopt the new distillation method over a method close to a century old. We will strive to continue to offer improvements so we can provide the most accurate, reliable and timely test methods possible.

Is Your Diesel Fuel Clean?

Using clean diesel fuel is more important today than ever. Governmental regulations have pushed equipment manufacturers to design engines that are more clean and efficient but have less tolerance for fuel contamination. Running dirty, wet fuel through your engines will lead to clogged fuel filters and equipment downtime.

Download the Diesel Fuel Cleanliness solution sheet to learn how you can take preventive action.

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Published September 13, 2017

Finding Diesel Fuel Contamination Early

Poor fuel quality and contamination can stop engines from running, which can strand shipments on the road, halt work on production lines or stop electricity from being generated during outages. Fuel can become contaminated or lose quality in many ways:

  • Exposure to water
  • Extreme heat or cold
  • Biological contamination (bacterial, fungi and mold)
  • Mixing low quality and contaminated fuel with clean fuel

Testing diesel fuel will detect if there is a problem, diagnose the cause of the problem and suggest a treatment to restore the fuel to a usable condition.

To learn more, download this solution sheet.

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Published June 13, 2017

The 4 Biggest Engine Killers

Diesel engines are one of the most expensive pieces of equipment for a maintenance manager to replace—they are also one of the easiest to save. If oil analysis can save just one engine, you’ve paid for the cost of an effective program, and it will change the way you think about maintenance and reliability.

Making oil analysis part of your predictive maintenance strategy can identify the four biggest engine killers before they cause major problems, saving you thousands of dollars a year in repair and replacement costs. Without a reliable oil analysis program, you may never know when intruders like dirt, soot and coolant threaten your engine oil.

Learn more about the 4 biggest engine killers with this infographic.

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Published March 28, 2017

Seven Steps to Managing an Effective Fluid Analysis Program

Managing your fluid analysis program is simple. At least it should be. If you struggle to ensure your fluid analysis program meets your maintenance goals, check out these seven steps. I guarantee, it will make a world of a difference.

Set attainable program goals
Take a moment to set your goals. Then, review your current maintenance practices and strategies to determine if they will help you accomplish your goals.

 Identify the resources you need to sufficiently run the program
Resources play an important role in program success. Another factor is the size of your program. This will impact the personnel and resources needed to reach your goals.

Build the appropriate equipment lists
Equipment list information should be sent to your laboratory before samples are submitted for processing.

Determine sampling intervals
Although an equipment manufacturer’s recommendations provide a good starting point for developing preventive maintenance practices, sampling intervals should be based on various factors.

Take an active role in minimizing sample turnaround time
Don’t compromise the value of your fluid analysis results and the laboratory’s maintenance recommendations with unnecessary delays in turnaround time.

Report key results to management
When reviewing your most critical information, consider what management needs to know most – and share the results with them. The size of your operation and your goals and resources will dictate the best and most efficient metrics to share with management.

Select a laboratory that will help you every step of the way
To realize the true value that an effective fluid analysis program can have on your overall business performance, you need to select the right partner.

To learn more, read this article about what makes a successful fluid analysis program or contact us a custservice@eoilreports.com.

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Let us prove it to you.

Published February 7, 2017

The Benefits of Fluid Analysis for OEMs

OEMs often use fluid analysis to enhance their product offerings. Partnering with an accredited laboratory, they can help their customers obtain the most value out of their equipment.

Whether an OEMs’ customers want to extend both oil and equipment life, increase equipment resale value, or reduce overall maintenance costs, they have a resource to help improve their maintenance program.

This is not the only value fluid analysis provides to OEMs.

  1. Warranties. The use of fluid analysis allows OEMs to address warranty claims made by their customers.
  2. Equipment Service Support. Oil analysis is often included as part of the service package for both OEMs and dealers’ customers.
  3. Early Failure Detection. This allows OEMs to have an earlier indication of when equipment moves into failure mode
  4. Increase Resale Value. The use of a fluid analysis program has proven to increase equipment resale value.
  5. Brand Awareness. Fluid analysis programs help OEMs enhance the value of their brand in the eyes of their customers.

OEMs who work with a fluid analysis provider offer additional value to their end-users. This added value helps them advance their brand as well as build credibility as their customers’ maintenance partner.

Have questions about the value of fluid analysis for OEMs? Contact us at custserv@eoilreports.com to learn more.

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published January 31, 2017

The Why, When and How of Diesel Fuel Testing

Diesel fuel testing is important for program health. This proactive maintenance approach can help you prevent engine failure, contamination and fuel dilution, among other types of equipment damage.

Why should I test diesel fuel?
Testing your diesel fuel can help you avoid engine failure, minimize the number of expensive repairs performed, and ensure the quality of the fuel. Additional issues to consider include:

  • Injector damage
  • Water and sediment contamination
  • Bacteria, fungi and mold
  • Reduced combustion efficiency
  • Impact of seasonal changes
  • Increased corrosion of fuel components
  • Plugged fuel filters
  • Smoking
  • Injector valve sticking
  • EPA compliance

When should I test diesel fuel?
When you should test depends on what equipment you’re using, the performance issues you’re experiencing, and the methods of storage you’re utilizing. To help you decide when to start testing, run through this list of questions:

  • Is my engine experiencing performance issues?
  • Should I perform basic testing on bulk delivery shipments?
  • Could contamination, sabotage or vandalism have occurred?
  • Are my bulk tanks being tested twice yearly?
  • Am I blending or treating my diesel fuel?

How can I start testing?
Taking action is simple. Our team can help you determine what you should test and when you should test in order to maximize program success.

If you have any questions, contact us at custserv@eoilreports.com.

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published January 23, 2017

Building a Championship Organization

At the root of every successful fluid analysis program is a program champion committed to success. From creating a project plan to assembling a sampling team, there are a number of actions maintenance professionals can take to maximize the value sampling provides.

A global leader in providing temperature control, temporary power generation and compressed air systems already had a robust maintenance program, but they decided to explore fluid analysis as a way to reduce downtime and costs.

With the leadership of their program champion, they developed into a reliability program saving between $750,000 to $2 million each year using fluid analysis. By documenting their process and program success, the team proved their value to their leadership team ten times over.

Read the Full Case Study