What The Government Says
‘The Department for Transport – Fuel Quality Directive Gas Oil Requirements’
The above document is the EU Directive 2009/30/EC information about the recent change to Gas Oil and Red Diesel.
These are the main Key Points from the EU Directive Document
From the 1st January 2011, Gas Oil for non road mobile machinery must contain no more than 10 milligrams of Sulphur per kg of fuel. This makes the fuel virtually Sulphur free.
Sulphur free gas oil is needed to ensure reliable operation of new, cleaner off-road equipment engines being introduced from 2011 in support of EU air quality objectives.
This means Gas Oil could contain a Bio Diesel content of up to 7%.
With good housekeeping most modern equipment will operate with the new fuel.
Sulphur free gas oil will require improved fuel storage “housekeeping” arrangements. If you have tanks storing gas oil you will need to ensure that these are free of water and monitor them monthly to ensure that they remain so.
Oxygen stability of the fuel may be poorer creating solids in the fuel and causing a tendency to block filters. If a bacterial outbreak occurs in your fuel you will need to empty and clean your tanks, or seek specialist help to tackle the outbreak with biocide additives and filtering. Where fuel tank location or geometry prevents their cleaning, bacterial growth will eventually be flushed through, but this is likely to require repeated changes of fuel filters to prevent blockages.
Users should also replace fuel filters on storage tanks and off-road equipment as a one-off exercise, after 2 to 3 fuel tank throughputs, to prevent deposits picked up by the new fuel blocking filters.
The changes will reduce the storage life of the fuel (without treatment) and recommendations suggest turning over the fuel every 6 months.
The fuel is a better solvent and as such deposits solids already in the fuel storage.
Some older equipment may need checks on seals and pipes. Users of older off-road equipment and storage tanks with sight gauges should check for any signs of fuel leakage. If leakage does occur the equipment will need a one-off replacement of any leaking fuel seals or fuel pipes.
Particular attention should be paid to ensuring that fuel storage tanks are free of water and debris and that tank gauges and filters are compatible with Sulphur free gas oil. Heating gas oil users may wish to refer to their fuel supplier or Service Company for guidance on fuel filtration.
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