Categories
Energy

Quality of Diesel Fuel

Increased performance is the key factor in design and research in today’s diesel engines. Advancements in fuel economy have been particularly successful in 2019 through today. 2022 has seen the introduction of more and more electric vehicles in the form of trucks, that will compete with the gas combustion engines currently used by the vast majority of fleets, transport and cargo services.

In order to determine the efficiency of a diesel engine, you must begin with quality diesel fuel. Diesel fuel is unlike conventional gasoline in various ways. Diesel fuel begins to deteriorate as soon as it is produced.

All diesel fuel begins a natural process called oxidation as soon as it is produced. This oxidation process forms a type of varnish which gums up the medium by altering the fuel molecules making them lengthen and bond together. The process can have a deleterious effect on the formula less than 30 days after refining.

This results in what is known as “diesel sludge’ which are an accumulation of the bonded molecules to a degree that they coagulate and drop to the bottom of the tank due to their weight.

The sludge will darken the fuel, cause an unnatural odor and poor performance. Some of the sludge inevitably makes it’s way through components, such as filtration and into the engine causing it to smoke considerably more. This causes decreased fuel economy due to unburnt sludge flying out the exhaust.

The build up of sludge in the fuel systems and tanks will clog the filters causing the engine damage sometimes engine failure.

There is debate on the degree and cause of degradation of fuel. Some believe that with proper storage and management, the sludge can be mitigated by separation and that the fast-paced turn around on shipments is the cause for such poor fuel performance.

With the advent of cost-effective electric trucks now coming to market, the next few years is of incredible interest and importance in the trucking industry. No other industry is more closely tied to energy itself.

Truck drivers have also been of increasing prominence in the news. The Canadian / United States border was recently the scene of one of the most notable civil disobedience campaigns. Truckers from US and Canada both participated in a “blockade” which drew international attention.

What type of energy will be driving transportation for decades ahead will be determined in the very near future.