Maximizing the winter performance of your biodiesel blended fuel.
Winter additives are an effective way to minimize winter operability challenges with standard diesel and biodiesel blended fuels. Here are some tips for using additives effectively:
- Use a quality winter additive that is designed to meet the needs of biodiesel blended fuel. Additives that are successful for 100% petroleum diesel may not be the right solutions for biodiesel blended fuel.
- Blend in line. It’s best practice for cold weather additive success.
- Introduce the additive at a temperature that’s high enough to ensure both the fuel and the additive flow easily. Bulk fuel that’s colder than the additive’s handling temperature can chill the additive and prevent good mixing.
- Introduce the additive while the fuel is in motion. If the additive is more dense than the fuel, add it to the top of the tank. If the additive is less dense, add it to the bottom of the tank.
Case study: Anti-waxing additives and ULSD
“Biodiesel is often blamed for vehicle problems that occur when the mercury drops below freezing, but it was not the culprit in my operation,” says Josh Yoder of Yoder Oil Company.
Through trial and error, the Yoder Oil team discovered that No. 2 ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) does not react with additive packages the same way low-sulfur diesel does, mainly with anti-waxing chemicals. These additives will not prevent the diesel from developing wax particles, but rather hinder them from melding together to form larger wax flakes that can clog up the fuel filter. This discovery required additive companies to make adjustments to their formulas to help with the cold weather operability. So, biodiesel was blamed for a number of the cold weather issues, when in fact it was the ULSD causing the issue.
How to test your additive’s effectiveness in biodiesel blended fuel:
- Place a small additized fuel sample in a refrigerator for one day.
- If residue or particles develop, make a new sample with more additive and try again.
- If the additive shows no effect at a level of 1 ounce per 3 gallons — or 1 part additive per 400 parts fuel — consider switching additives.
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