I have a diesel generator, and I was wondering how long one can safely store diesel fuel? What is the best type of container, and what additives are recommended for long term storage?
The following is a compilation of information from the various refiners’ websites:
Exxon’s website says that: “If you keep it clean, cool and dry, diesel fuel can be stored 6 months to 1 year without significant quality degradation. Storage for longer periods can be accomplished through use of periodic filtrations and addition of fuel stabilizers and biocides.”
Chevron says: “those who store diesel fuel for a prolonged period, i.e., one year or longer, can take steps
to maintain fuel integrity. The steps below provide increasing levels of protection:
- Purchase clean, dry fuel from a reputable supplier and keep the stored fuel cool and
dry. The presence of free water encourages the corrosion of metal storage tanks and
provides the medium for microbiological growth.
- Add an appropriate stabilizer that contains an antioxidant, biocide, and
- Use a fuel quality management service to regularly test the fuel, and, as necessary,
polish it – by ﬁltration through portable ﬁlters – and add fresh stabilizer.”
BP says: “Under normal storage conditions diesel fuel can be expected to stay in a useable condition
- 12 months or longer at an ambient temperature of 20ºC.
- 6-12 months at an ambient temperature higher than 30ºC.
As diesel gets older, a fine sediment and gum forms in the diesel brought about by the reaction of diesel components with oxygen from the air. The fine sediment and gum will block fuel filters, leading to fuel starvation and the engine stopping. Frequent filter changes are then required to keep the engine going. The gums and sediments do not burn in the engine very well and can lead to carbon and soot deposits on injectors and other combustion surfaces.”
Cenex says: “If storage exceeds one year, testing is recommended.”
Diesel fuels are blended for different seasons and regions. “Summer” diesel may cloud or gel at cold temperatures.
From BP: “Always purchase fuel to replenish stocks in the winter season. This will ensure that the fuel will not cause wax problems whatever season it is used.”
Many old-timers, from farmers to diesel truck enthusiasts, have used fuel that was stored for many, many years. From my research, the one thing that seems to be a problem with diesel is its ability to grow stuff in warm, humid temperatures, dependent on the water percentage in the fuel. That’s why they make biocides for diesel fuel. In cold weather, gelling is a problem. The one company that I’ve seen talked about the most is Power Service Diesel Additives for maintaining the integrity of stored diesel fuel. They have different products for different applications. Their website is https://www.powerservice.com/default.htm and contains some good information.
Diesel fuel doesn’t turn to varnish like gasoline does in long-term storage situations. While the diesel fuel formulated today is not as stable as that of 20 years ago, the use of additives and biocides will keep it in usable condition. It appears that 55-gallon drums or a metal storage tank is best for fuel storage. Leave a little head room for expansion and contraction of the fuel in different temperatures.
As always, we welcome our readers’ views on this subject and will gladly publish any helpful hints or experience you’ve had with long-term diesel fuel storage.
Will grounding a maritime shipping container make a dependable Faraday Cage? It’s pretty straight forward—bolt wire to the bottom corner and drive rod into the ground.
It’s a little bit more involved than that. There are still some issues with the CONEX containers that have to be overcome. Here are two links that have discussions going on about various items used as Faraday cages. At https://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/emp-electromagnetic-pulse/ the article itself said nothing about shipping containers, but within the comments section there were several responses on using shipping containers as Faraday cages. Another link to a different website discusses the issue briefly: https://survivalblog.com/2011/09/two-letters-re-conex-shipping.html.
Hope this helps!