As the latest winter storm bears down on a large part of the country, the United Soybean Board is offering some cold weather tips for biodiesel. This post on Southeast Farm Press says the cold can cause problems for both biodiesel and No. 2 diesel, so there are some things you need to do in the way of tank maintenance.
Many farmers like to use biodiesel blends of 20 percent or greater during the summer months. While not impossible to use higher blends in the winter, it does require a high degree of fuel management and a vigilant tank-maintenance program.
It is highly recommended the average diesel consumer reduce their biodiesel blend to 5 percent during the winter months.
High water concentration in fuel can lead to water-logged fuel filters. When the temperature of the filter gets below 32 degrees, the water freezes and blocks the flow of fuel through the filter.
Paraffin is a naturally occurring component of diesel fuel. When the temperature of fuel is at or below its cloud point, paraffin material can collect on the bottom of the tank. Wax anti-settling agent (WASA) additives can be used to keep paraffins from collecting at the bottom of the tank where they can cause filter plugging.
USB also recommends that you:
• Check tanks for any water
• Install a dispenser filter to keep keep contaminants from reaching the vehicle tanks
• Use a new dispenser filter, 30 micron or higher to handle the increased viscosity of the fuel
• Check hoses, fill/vapor caps and gaskets for leaks.
• Transition to a lower-percentage biodiesel blend in winter months.
• Use an appropriate additive package and/or use No. 1 diesel to ensure operability.
• Fill your tank after harvest season. Fuel tanks should always be kept as full as possible to reduce fuel degradation from exposure to oxygen.
If you’re still having trouble, you can also call the Diesel Helpline at 800-929-3437.