How Proactive Tank Management Promotes Better Quality Fuel

Ag-Land FS, Inc., provides more than 1,000,000 gallons of reliable biodiesel every year thanks to an integrated quality assurance process.

Clean tanks are critical to biodiesel’s success.

John Papenhause, energy consultant at Ag-Land FS, Inc., believes that a successful biodiesel blended fuel program begins with clean tanks.

“If you have existing bulk plant storage tanks, I strongly recommend thoroughly cleaning the tanks,” says Papenhause.  “Next, make sure your customer fuel tanks are clean.”

The Ag-Land FS sales team inspects and cleans customer fuel storage tanks before biodiesel blended fuel or straight No. 2 ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) is delivered to a farm or commercial account. Then they inspect customer tanks twice annually — in the spring and fall — to proactively identify potential issues.

“If we make sure that tanks are good and clean, we know we’re not going to have problems downstream,” says Papenhause. “There are a lot of ins and outs related to tank maintenance, and it cannot be taken for granted. We make the effort to check the tanks. If we need to clean them, we clean them.”

Fuel filtering leads to higher quality products.

Ag-Land FS goes one step further to ensure they deliver the highest quality fuel by filtering all fuel in and out of their bulk plant using a 10-micron filter. Plus, they added filters to delivery trucks, ensuring the biodiesel blended fuel delivered to customers meets their strict quality standards.

Front line employee training is key to Customer Relationships. 

Ag-Land FS provides training on biodiesel to their sales team and delivery truck drivers. Because they are on the front line with customers, it’s critical that they understand every aspect of the biodiesel program.

“From our perspective, the training wasn’t difficult,” says Papenhause. “We demonstrated that we’re bringing in a quality product, the B99 is stored in a heated tank, the blended fuel was going into clean tanks, and it would be filtered in and out of the bulk plant and delivery trucks. The sales and delivery team trusted us, and we followed through on our commitment. That's what has led to our success." 

"Back in 2002, we began offering  biodiesel blended fuel to our  customers and it was so new that we  had to handle the biodiesel in 5 gallon  buckets. We’ve learned a lot over the  years, and we strive to ensure we  maintain stringent fuel standards." John Papenhause,  Energy Management Specialist, Ag-Land FS, Inc. 




Chevron Renewable Energy Group delivers insightful content like this to your inbox in our e-newsletters. Sign up today.