Clean diesel from the start of the supply chain

Paul Boughton

Emissions legislation is placing the focus on clean diesel upstream of the distribution channel

Environmental legislation means that mining haulers and equipment from the likes of Caterpillar, Liebner, Komatsu and many others to be used in the USA and in Europe will be subject to higher emission standards for the type of particulates coming from their exhaust.

To meet Tier 4 Final (USA) and Stage IV (Europe) requirements, engine manufacturers have produced new engines but they will require cleaner fuel from the point of receiving it through to dispensing it. The precision of today’s diesel engines turns development focus on filtration technology further up the distribution channel.

Using clean and on-specification diesel fuel ensures extended equipment uptime, reduces costly repairs and keeps warranty claims to a minimum. With the latest exhaust emission mandates, clean fuel has taken on a whole new importance. 

Visual inspection of fuel during filling is no longer adequate and reliable. The smallest particle the eye can see is approximately 40 microns wide. 

That’s when Parker Velcon is called in to help design bulk fuel filtration systems that will ensure clean diesel throughout the fuel delivery stream. First, the company’s sensor technologies can help customers determine what types of contaminants are present. Second, appropriate Clean Diesel high-flow, high-capacity fuel filter/water separators and filters are recommended to pre-treat the fuel upstream at delivery, transfer and dispensing operations.

There is a real need to provide more pre-filtration steps. When the fuel leaves the refinery it is generally clean. Nevertheless, each time the fuel is moved it picks up tank residue. Even the air drawn into the tanks contains enough airborne dust and moisture to cause extensive damage. Every transfer point between the refinery and the actual point of use can add contaminants to the fuel. This is more frequent in remote applications such as in Australia and Africa because of the many transfer points required to deliver the fuel. Different climate conditions add to the challenge by creating water in the fuel tanks that promotes rust and algae contamination. 

Equipment operators can take matters into their own hands and many have. The Diesel Filtration Skid from Parker Velcon combines particulate filtration with water coalescing technology to handle flow rates up to 3955 gpm. Fuel monitoring options include the Velcon Contaminant Analyser (VCA), which is engineered to provide real-time, simultaneous detection of both water and particulate contaminants in diesel delivery systems at full-flow conditions. Two separate sensor technologies consistently differentiate between water and solid contaminants, analyses the contents of flowing fuel in a pipeline 600 times per second and produces an averaged result every two seconds in parts per million (ppm) and ISO 4406 codes. The company also offers other analysers for lower flow rates (IPM, icounACM20, etc.) and fuel farm laboratories.

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