Vacuum Truck Services
Fleet Core provides fuels disposal and other services to commercial, industrial and institutional customers. Removal of liquids from fuel tanks, oil/water separators, with selective removal of water phase from gasoline, diesel fuel and fuel oil tanks.
Fuel Tank Preventative Maintenance Programs
The greatest enemy of diesel fuel and gasoline is water. Even though a minuscule amount of water naturally occurs in the molecular structure of petroleum hydrocarbons, the incremental amount of water is one of the factors related to poor tank maintenance.
Changes in weather usher in temperature variances which cause condensation to form on the inside walls of a tank. Since water is heavier than hydrocarbons, the condensation falls to the bottom of the tank, where it accumulates over time. Additional maintenance issues are loose, missing, or cracked fill caps and fill manholes that lie in low areas. Low lying fill manholes collect rainwater on or around the manhole. When the manhole is accessed the standing water can easily migrate into the tank. All of these situations create a water environment that acts as the “host” to microorganisms, thus, causing fuel degradation.
Long term storage of diesel fuel, as in the operation of a generator, is another maintenance situation that can cause fuel to break down. Fuel that is not “turned over” in a reasonable period of time becomes susceptible to oxidation, causing fuel to destabilize.
- Fleet Core believes that the practice of good maintenance practices is essential in the proper maintenance of fuel storage tanks. It is important to consistently monitor the level of moisture in your tank; thereby monitoring the possible level of fuel degradation that water may have caused.
- Since the density of water is heavier than the density of diesel fuel, water will drop to the bottom of the tank while diesel fuel floats on top of the water. It is this interface area that provides the environment for the potential growth of bacteria. Those tiny microorganisms thrive in that interface layer, feeding off the hydrocarbons in diesel fuel.
- Fleet Core customers can request a tank evaluation which is designed to help our customers stay on top of their maintenance schedule. Tank audits are performed in the fall of the year.
Tank audit includes
- Fill caps checked for tightness.
- Check for the presence of water in the fill area.
- Check bottom of the tank with water finding paste.
- If water is present in the tank, Bell Fuels will provide a list of licensed waste haulers for the customer to contact.
- A “Bacon Bomb” test will retrieve a bottom sample from the tank; checking for bacteria growth. When necessary, the sample will be sent to a nationally recognized independent lab for further fuel analysis.
Fuel Tank Purchase Program
Fuel Tank Lease Program
To help our customers upgrade their bulk fuel facilities, we have a fuel tank lease program. 500 or 1000 gal tanks are available complete with pump, filter, hose and remote monitoring. The lease is for a period of ten years after which time you will own the tank.
Contaminated Diesel Fuel
Contaminated fuel can damage your engine. Today’s diesel engine manufacturers call for fuel to meet or exceed ISO cleanliness levels of 18/16/13 with a water content of less than 0.05%. Not long ago diesel engines were quite simple, not too efficient, smoked, and burned high sulfur fuel, in fact as much as 5,000 parts per million. The older diesel injection systems only use about 1⁄2 the fuel pressure modern engines do, and older injectors send the fuel through much larger passages. If there was a little moisture in the storage tank, the high sulfur content killed most of the filter clogging bacteria and fungi.
Today’s diesel fuel is ultra-low sulfur, markedly 15 parts per million, which allows filter clogging bacteria and fungi to grow rapidly if any moisture is in the fuel storage tank. Modern diesel engines use high pressure, 27,000 to 35,000 psi fuel injectors with tiny fuel passages which are easily clogged with dirty fuel and damaged by water.
The days of using grandpa’s old style boat or tractor filters on your diesel fuel tank are over. The old-style fuel filters and gravity water separators that remove 75% to 99% of the contamination are not good enough for today’s diesel engines. Magnets and filterless devices won’t clean fuel to ISO 18/16/13 or remove water to less than 100 PPM.
- Water… being heavier than fuel is found under the fuel at the tank bottom.
- Condensation… will be pulled by gravity to the tank bottom.
- Bacteria & Fungi… are heavier than fuel but lighter than water and will be found at the fuel/water interface as shown in the photo.
- Rust… is heavier than water and fuel and will be found at the tank bottom.
- As much as 90% of the upper fuel in a storage tank may not be contaminated if left undisturbed.
Phase Separated Ethanol Blended Fuels
Phase Separation happens to ethanol blended gasoline when water is present. When gasoline containing Ethanol comes in contact with water—either liquid or in the form of humidity—the Ethanol will absorb some or all of that water. When it reaches a saturation point, the Ethanol and water will Phase Separate, actually coming out of solution and forming distinct layers on the fuel tank bottom. The result could lower the octane to a point where the engine will not run; or if the alcohol/water mixture is ingested into the engine, sever damage can occur.
Bulk fuel storage tanks should be regularly checked for water and maintained to prevent phase separation. Laboratory tests have proven that well designed fuel polishing system will remove the separated phase from the fuel tank in one pass through the system without effecting the clean fuel.