There is no example in technical literature of denying the benefits of filtration. It can remove dust and other impurities entering the machines through nozzles and other openings. The reason for all is periodic opening and closing of the fuel tank. When channels and openings of the nozzles are contaminated and cannot let enough fuel enter the combustion chamber, the power of the engine suffers.
Purified fuel burns more efficiently, emits less gases, improves engine power and fuel economy.
Filtration is necessary to protect the friction parts and other components of the system from solid particles. This is achieved by filters which consist of a filter case and a filter element. The latter can be made of synthetic fibers, cellulose or special paper. Filter efficiency can be described by several parameters. The maximum size of particles which can pass through the filter is one of them. The beta ratio of the filter estimates the ratio of the amount of particles of a certain size entering the filter with the fuel to the amount of the same size particles exiting the filter. The higher the beta, the more efficient the filter. The idea is to select the correct filter for a given impurity size. If that is done incorrectly, the filter will not perform its function. New filter are also capable of holding water, beside solid particles.
Such filters require attention, since water overflowing may block the device and let the contaminated fuel bypass the filter.
Separation is a subset of filtration, in essence. It is used when the fuel is so contaminated that a regular filter cannot filter it. The main benefit of separation is the removal of even high concentrations of impurities. Separators can remove both solids and water from the fuel. First, water is separated from the fuel in the centrifuge drum, then the fuel is filtered through paper impregnated by a special substance, which can bind water emulsion up to 20-25 times its mass.
Separators are a good solution if the fuel is heavily contaminated, but they also require complicated maintenance.
Using additives is a very different approach to fuel improvement. Certain parameters of the fuel are improved by adding special chemicals. When selecting additives, it is worth noting that even the best product may have its flaws. Hence the somewhat mixed feelings of drivers and fleet owners to fuel additives.
Antimicrobial additives are probably the most efficient and useful. These should be used if the fuel is stored in a tank for a long time. They have no effect on viscosity, cetane number and lubricity of the fuel.
Antiwear additives are intended to improve the lifetime of the system, increasing the lubricity of the fuel. They are added into low sulfur diesel fuel.
There is a range of additives to improve the cetane number, which influences the engine start in cold temperature and engine efficiency. Cetane additives usually have little effect on other parameter, except lubricity.
Adding these substances to high lubricity fuels is not that critical, but medium or low lubricity fuels with cetane enhancers may cause increased engine wear or even nozzle failure.
Depressors improve the low temperature performance of diesel fuel. They decrease the temperature of paraffin solidification, improving fuel filtration in cold weather. Then selecting such additives, it is important to remember that it has no effect on paraffin already solidified in the fuel.
Dispersing additives are introduced into the fuel along with depressors, and facilitate the formation of very small paraffin crystals, which remain suspended throughout the fuel instead of forming sediment.
The most common additives are for cleaning. The popularity is due to their ability to remove sediment from the engine. Soot and varnish form in motors with time, increasing fuel consumption and toxicity of exhaust. Cleaning additives prevent this and offer some mileage improvement.
Can filtration and additives coexist?
If filter is designed for specific parameters of the fuel, additives cannot guarantee stability of properties necessary for efficient filtration. Sometimes filters even separate additives from the fuel, making the latter rather pointless. The effects of the combined use of filtration and additives should be carefully considered.
Making the fuel look good enough to sell
Companies who sell petroleum products, are concerned with making the fuel look good for sales. Long storage and contact with air causes oxidation and darkening of the fuel, which makes selling it problematic. Not many clients will want to buy a product with appearance obviously contrary to your expectations of quality.
Medium and large amounts of fuel can be processed with GlobeCore UVR units, which clarify darkened liquids, removing water, aromatics and particulate matter. The unit can remove hydrogen sulfide, reduce sulfur and paraffin content, as well as unsaturated hydrocarbons. The fuel remains clear and light after the processing.
The UVR machine has several important benefits:
- mobility. the machine can easily be loaded into a small truck and can be transported to fuel storage sites;
- automatic or automatic assisted operation, reducing human participation in the process;
- versatility. The UVR machines can be used to clarify and regenerate not only diesel fuel, but also gasoline, kerosene, heavy fuel oil, light mineral oils etc.