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NORA Oilheat Technicians Manual

Fuel additive treatment Additives are designed to prevent or retard fuel deterioration. Numerous types of additives are available on the market. A successful fuel treatment program requires knowledge of the quality of the fuel in the tank and the specific service problems. Using an additive off the shelf without testing may be more harmful than doing nothing at all. Selection of additives: The multifunctional aftermarket additives available for heating oil are proprietary products that offer a range of properties. Guidelines: • Define the problem and the additive that is needed. • Make sure the fuel sample being tested represents the fuel being treated. • Will the additive be used once, or is continuous treatment required? • Does the additive perform more than one function? • Does the additive supplier have technical support if there are questions or problems? • Can the supplier provide a way to determine effectiveness in specific cases? • Follow all safety and handling instructions on the labels and Material Safety Data Sheets that should accompany the package. • Follow the recommended treatment rates. • Properly dispose of the additive containers. Know and follow the local laws concerning disposal of sludge and water bottoms. Types of additives: Cold flow improvers: Flow improvers are designed to lower the cold temperature operability limit for the fuel, and to avoid wax plugging of the filters. Pour point reducers or anti-gels lower the temperature at which fuel gels or solidifies, and cold filter plug point reducers lowers the temperature at which wax plugs the filter. Once wax has formed in the fuel, an additive will not change the waxes present. To dissolve wax, a solvent such as kerosene, must be used. Dispersants: Dispersants or detergents keep the little chunks of junk floating in fuel so they can slip through the fuel system and be burned, rather than letting them settle to the bottom of the tank. Initial use of dispersant may cause filter plugging as existing deposits, sludge, and dirt are broken up, suspended in the fuel and picked up by the pump. Antioxidants and metal deactivators: Fuel degradation caused by oxidation or aging leads to gum deposits. Antioxidant additives can slow this process. Dissolved metals, such as copper, can speed aging and degradation, and produce mercaptide (sulfur containing) gels. To minimize these effects, metal deactivators combine with the metals and render them inactive. Periodic monitoring of fuel stability is recommended if these additives are being used. Biocides: Serious problems can arise from microbial proliferation, including sludge formation, acid and surfactant formation leading to operational problems. (Translation: Critters can grow in the oil Chapter 2 Heating Oil Chapter 2—Heating Oil and Its Properties 2-13


NORA Oilheat Technicians Manual
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