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Winter Fuel Blending
If you haven’t done it already, it’s time to winterize your stored diesel fuel to keep your operation and equipment running smoothly.
Ron Jessen is the director of product management and business development in the refined fuels division of CHS. He says the first step is to remove any excess water, get rid of contaminants, and know what type of fuel is currently in your tank. Number-two diesel fuel is used in warm weather, and number-one is meant for cold weather operation.
"One of the largest issues we have is when people just put winter fuel on top of their current inventory, so consequently what happens is we dilute the effectiveness of that winter fuel," says Jessen. "So, you want to understand what’s our starting point? How much fuel do I have in my tank? How much number one fuel should I add to it to blend down properly, and then we can add our winter fuel on top of that."
Fuel that isn’t blended properly can start to gel and cause all kinds of headaches.
"The paraffin wax in the fuel begins to gel, it gets cold. What happens then is we form ice crystals and it gets caught in the filters. So consequently, what we have is it starts plugging up a little bit," he says. "And so, what we want to do is make sure that we’re blending that fuel nice and early to make sure that we don’t reach that cloud point."
The cloud point for number-2 diesel is approximately 14-degrees Fahrenheit. A good rule of thumb is to switch to a winter blend 15-degrees above cloud point. If you have smaller gasoline engines on the farm, make sure you have a winter blend in this equipment, too.