Winter Additive Options

Posted by John Presti on Oct 25, 2013 2:55:00 AM

It's getting cold out there! 
Now is a good time to revisit the topic of winter fuel and fuel additives. Very few things are more critical than ensuring your fleets winter operability.
There are a lot of options out there, from Kero blending to different types of Additives. We've seen a lot of people have loyalty to the Valvtect Diesel Guard Winter Additive. The video below gives you a good amount of info on the product - if you're weighing out additive options for the winter season, it's worth a look. 

Topics: winter additives, Valvtect, Additives

Diesel engines power some of the largest vehicles on the road. However, during cold weather, wax and ice crystals can form in the diesel fuel which can seriously compromise vehicle operability and reliability. In warm temperatures, wax molecules and water remain dissolved so diesel fuel flows freely. As temperatures drop, fuel reaches it’s cloud point - the temperature at which wax molecules start to crystalize and water freezes at 32 degrees. As the temperature continues to fall, wax crystals become more numerous and grow in size. This causes fuel to gel and ice to develop in fuel lines, tanks and especially on filters. A partially blocked fuel filter reduces fuel flow to the engine which may result in vehicle operability problems. The risk may be even greater with biodiesel and it’s blends which tend to gel at a higher temperature than fossil fuel and hold more moisture.

The solution? ValvTect’s Diesel Guard Antigel/Deicer with VT330-A. The perfect winter solution. Treating diesel fuel with Diesel Guard Antigel/Deicer with VT330-A can prevent fuel line and filter blockage in 3 ways.

One way is through nucleation in which Diesel Guard helps to create more sites where crystals can grow. The wax is then distributed across more crystals so they’re smaller in size and less prone to blocking lines and filters.

Second, Diesel Guard prevents blockage by reshaping the crystals and preventing further crystal growth. The crystals that form are more compact and needle shaped, which minimizes crystal-to-crystal surface contact and prevents the strong crystal-to-crystal interaction that causes fuels to gel.

What’s more, all Diesel Guard grade winter formulas include a proprietary non-alcohol jet fuel deicer water dispersant which lowers the freeze point of entrained water to as low as minus 50 degrees fahrenheit to prevent the formation of ice crystals that plug the fuel filter.

So, how does this relate to biodiesels? Since biodiesel comes from diverse feed stocks and production methods, biodiesel blends have more variable cold flow performance characteristics and can be more difficult to treat. The bottom line - Diesel Guard Antigel/Deicer with VT330A can significantly improve cold weather performance across a broad spectrum of diesel fuel - including biodiesel and it’s blends. The key is truly understanding the fuel’s unique characteristics and tailoring the cold flow solution to fit.

But the question remains, why not just stick with kerosene? Because of it’s low cloud point kerosene has historically been used for winter diesel fuel blending. And, while it’s often effective for improving cold weather performance, it comes with disadvantages. Kerosene’s lower density reduces fuel economy and can contribute to a loss of power. Especially since large amounts are required to improve the low temperature performance of some fuels. This is particularly true in biodiesel. Kerosene’s lower viscosity also means lower lubricity which accelerates wear on engine fuel injection system parts. Kerosene’s availability can also fluctuate. And it’s cost is typically well above that of diesel fuel in colder months.

Diesel Guard Antigel/Deicer with VT330-A has been proven in the field to lower the operability temperature at which fuel can be used in vehicles.

So, what does all of this mean? It’s this simple. In cold temperatures something must be done to keep fuel flowing in diesel powered vehicles. And while kerosene may be seen as a viable solution for combatting wax crystallization, it’s a resource that can get scarce and more expensive. What’s more, it has been found to reduce fuel economy and increase wear on the fuel system.

Diesel Guard Antigel/Deicer with VT330-A offers a field-proven option at a fraction of the cost. In addition, Diesel Guard additives has been extensively tested in industry recognized tests to ensure consistency and breath of performance in a wide variety of fuels.

ValvTect Diesel Guard Antigel/Deicer with VT330-A: proven to work, maintaining fuel flow and performance in even the toughest winter conditions.