Choosing which diesel fuel additive to use often takes time – the available information on the subject of fuel additives is vast. The decision-making process is often further complicated by reviews that are biased towards particular brands.
However, as fuel prices fluctuate and climate change progresses, it is important to ensure that all measures are in place to improve the longevity of your fuel and minimize the environmental impact of your vehicle.
Why use diesel fuel additives?
When deciding to use fuel additives, it is important to determine the intended outcome of the additive.
The guide below highlights what can be achieved when utilizing an additive and will help you to compare solutions.
We believe that searching for a fuel additive based on your intended outcome is a sensible method. Enhancing diesel with additives can work towards:
- Enhanced lubricity - poor lubricity occurs when there is a low measurement of sulphur present in the diesel. This can cause issues including inadequate engine performance (sufficient oil is not present in the motor) and can lead to premature wear and engine failure.
- Improved cetane ratings (CN) - a diesel cetane number refers to the speed in which the fuel ignites and the rate in which it combusts to provide power to the engine. The higher the cetane number, the quicker it will ignite (therefore providing more power to the engine at a faster rate).
- Improved cold weather performance (gelling issues) – similar to H2O (water), hydrocarbons such as methane, butane and propane all have a freezing point. When water solidifies into a hard substance (ice), the chemical components of diesel go through a solidification process (known as gelling) and create a thick, viscous substance. As a result, the fuel cannot be utilized by the engine effectively.
- Fuel stability - if fuel is stood for an extended period of time, it can undergo a degradation process that reduces the quality and effectiveness of the fuel. In addition, remaining motionless can cause contaminants to settle and the viscosity of the fuel to intensify. Fuel stability additives are particularly beneficial for large bulk containers such as petrol stations and fuel storage tanks for jets.
- Colouration – different vehicles have different uses and adding dyes to diesel fuel can help to differentiate its use. For example, off-road vehicles such as tractors and other agricultural machinery may use a dye to deter theft or improper use.
- Resolved foam issues - diesel fuel has an inclination to form a foam on its surface. This can lead to consumer issues such as incorrect readings at gas stations where the foam is considered as part of the diesel intake and the system is led to believe that there is more fuel in the tank than in reality. Anti-foam additives can drastically improve gas pump efficiency and accuracy which in turn improves consumer contentment.
- Managing conductivity – certain diesel fuels exhibit reduced conductivity due to diminished sulphur content. Without conductivity additives, fuel handling is often considered far more dangerous as the risk of static discharge is increased and the likelihood of handling explosions is multiplied.
- Reduced corrosion - the chemical composition of some diesel fuels can allow water to enter the solution. Subsequently, when in contact with the metal components in the engine, the fuel can cause corrosion. Some additives improve the longevity and robustness of the engine as they inhibit corrosion.
Using additives can drastically improve the tolerance of the diesel. It should be mentioned that fuel supplements can be multi-functional additives or single function treatments.
At NCH Asia, we would always recommend determining the objective of the fuel additive before purchasing a solution.
NCH Asia is happy to provide comprehensive advice on diesel fuel additives. We have developed diesel supplements to promote healthy engine function and to improve your vehicle’s productivity and potential.