Fuel Testing, Filtering and Polishing

CommTank has been offering fuel testing, filtering and polishing services as an alternative to a tank cleaning service since 2008. Fuel analysis has become a very important part of all maintenance and purchasing functions. The cost of diesel fuel, although expensive, is small when compared to the problems that may develop without the proper purchase specifications, verification of those specifications, handling, storage, and distribution. Fuel filtering and polishing can provide a cost effective alternative to disposing of contaminated fuel.

Fuel Test Methods ASTM Standard  Test Description
Water/Sediment D1796 Shows concentrated levels of water and sediment to determine fuel quality.
Flash Point D93 Determines the temperature at which fuel reacts to a flame under laboratory conditions. 
Particulate D6217 Tests the levels of particulate in a sample.
Microbial D7978 Determines how much microbial contamination is in the fuel. 
Cloud Point D2500 Determines the temperature at which fuel begins to form a wax and create a cloud.
Pour Point D97 Determines the temperature that fuel becomes crystallized and resistant to flow.

Why test your fuel?

Periodic sampling and inspection of stored fuel will reveal several important quality parameters that if gone undetected may cause unnecessary problems in the operation of the diesel generator. Diesel fuel is usually amber or light brown in color, depending on the crude oil and the refinery process used to produce it. Red dye is added to heating oil to change the fuel color for tax identification purposes. Stored fuel will darken due to oxidation of certain components and can be accompanied by the formation of sediment.

Diesel fuel can also become contaminated with microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, yeast, and mold. These microorganisms thrive in water that is formed by condensation. Condensation is created as a tank breathes through the vent pipe. Cooler temperatures cause the tank to shrink and warm temperatures cause it to expand. During this expansion and contraction, the air passing through the tank will condense, and form water. The water, in addition to the nutrients found in fuel oil, provide an excellent environment for bacteria growth.

Hospitals, behavioral health treatment facilities and nursing homes pursue accreditation by the Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that accredits more than 21,000 US health care organizations, every three years. Compliance with the Joint Commission’s accreditation standards is essential for continuing Medicare certification and reimbursement. The Joint Commission follows National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 99 guidelines for regulation of medical facilities and NFPA 110 which specifies emergency generation regulations. According to NFPA 110 Section 8.3.8, facilities that utilize emergency power generators must have the fuel quality tested annually to ASTM standards.

CommTank's Fuel Testing Laboratory

Why filter and polish your fuel?

Fuel suppliers recommend that diesel fuel stored for emergency use should be replaced with new fuel if not used within a year. Disposing of old fuel, cleaning the tank, and purchasing new fuel is an expensive process that is practiced by many large institutions.As an alternative to disposing and purchasing new fuel, we can test your fuel to verify compliance with ASTM standards as specified by the original supplier. If fuel testing determines that the fuel is contaminated, we provide a filtration and polishing service to remove all the microorganisms and the water that supported the growth. Once the fuel has been filtered and polished, we recommend re-testing the fuel to verify that it meets the ASTM specifications.

Before and After Images of Polished Diesel Fuel

For examples of our work please see the fuel polishing projects section of our web site.

Call us if you’d like more information on our fuel testing and filtration services: 1-800-628-8260