Fuel Polishing

Fuel Polishing Services

Fuel polishing, unlike other forms of tank and fuel remediation work (such as tank cleaning or adding a biocide product), is always portrayed as one of the more complex remedial methods available to fuel handlers, and as such, it is remarkable how many people decide to shy away from utilising it – mainly because they don’t quite understand the process.

Call 0845 872 3344 for more information about our fuel cleaning services or why not watch our fuel polishing video below for an easy to follow insight into diesel fuel polishing?


Fuel Polishing | Diesel Fuel Cleaning Services | Fuel Filtering

Why Is Fuel Polishing Important?

Fuel Polishing | Diesel Fuel Cleaning | Fuel Filtering Company

There is no single answer that can address the question ‘Do I need fuel polishing?’ alone, as there are countless reasons why fuel handlers should consider this process. Each response may be of varying importance depending on your fuel setup, budget and a whole host of other factors, although the value of polishing your fuel is highly regarded by any experienced fuel handler.

That said, let’s take a look at some of the key reasons why fuel handlers who don’t currently use a fuel polishing company should consider utilising this method when addressing fuel quality issues:

  • Lower Cost – in many instances where fuel quality or tank integrity is under question, whether due to past experience or lack of knowledge around the polishing process, fuel handlers will opt to have their fuel uplifted from their tank(s), and then proceed to having their tank manually cleaned before re-uploading new fuel. But while this may be an effective way of removing sludge, particulate, and microbial contamination that may be present, it is not necessary if the fuel is contaminated to a moderate level. In the event of heavy fuel contamination, whereby you are likely to find biomass stuck to the walls of the tank, then a full fuel uplift and manual tank clean may be a justifiable action and expense, but at moderate contamination levels, there is absolutely no reason why that fuel can’t be polished, and dosed with an appropriate biocide and/or fuel additive. Not only does this cost significantly less, but it is also the most efficient way to address fuel quality when moderate levels of contamination are present.
  • Lack of Disruption – many fuel handlers believe that whenever they need to have work done on their storage tanks or to their fuel, they must then prepare to have those tanks or backup generators out of service while the remedial work is carried out. But while this may be true for other remedial methods, it is certainly not the case with this process. By utilising this method, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t have your fuel polished whilst keeping it available for use at all times. Most companies who have large backup power facilities simply can’t afford to have any downtime whatsoever, which is why fuel polishing is the perfect remedy in this instance. Simply have your fuel cleaned within its current storage facility, and suffer no disruption to your business operation as a result.
  • Higher Efficiency – whether you are dealing with an enormous fuel storage facility or a moderately-sized setup, nobody wants their fuel remediation work to take huge amounts of time. After all, time is money, and most businesses want to Fuel Polishing Machine | Fuel Polishing Pump - Fuel Cleanerspend their time focusing on the running of their operation. Which is yet another reason why fuel polishing is a good option to consider in most instances, as it can clean your fuel to within specification in next to no time at all. Granted, not all fuel polishing services can operate at the same level or deal with the same quantities of fuel, but most credible fuel polishing companies can usually offer a fuel cleaning rate of at least 5L/minute for smaller jobs, and up to 1,000L/minute for larger requirements.

Call 0845 872 3344 for more information.

The Process:

There are a number of complex and technical explanations around the physical process of fuel polishing, and although there is no specific definition, it is essentially the technical term for the removal of water, sediment, and microbial contamination from your fuel.

The bulk of the process relies on a simple method of filtration. However, there is a difference between simple fuel filtering and fuel polishing, which can easily be explained.

Filtration is used quite simply for addressing the non-combustible sediment that can be found in contaminated fuel, usually at the bottom of your tank, whereas fuel polishing, although it includes this aspect of fuel filtering, also includes centrifuges, water filters and coalescers, which all act concurrently to address the combustible aspects of the problem.

Fuel Polishing: Fuel Cleaning In Starage Tanks | Diesel Fuel Polishing Process

In summary, the process acknowledges that your fuel can degrade and cause particulate build up over time.  The fuel filters in the polishing system will act to remove the non-combustible sediment, while the other aspects of the fuel polishing unit will work to break down the combustible solids so that the fuel stays within the industry specifications – which is typically the most important thing to keep in mind.

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Fuel Polishing FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and common misconceptions about fuel polishing:

  • How will I know it has worked?

The most obvious indication of how effective any fuel polishing work has been is the fuel’s visual appearance. Following a successful fuel cleaning job, the fuel should appear clear and bright with no visible signs of free water, particulate or sediment.

See the below image:Before and After Fuel Polishing - Diesel Fuel Cleaning Samples

  • How do I know if fuel cleaning will be an appropriate option for me to consider?

In most cases, unless there is a significant amount of free standing water in your fuel, or you know for a fact that your fuel is heavily contaminated, then fuel polishing remains a viable option to consider. The only other exceptions in addition to those already listed are usually more practical factors i.e. your fuel tank has limited access or your generator is located on a roof with limited access. It is also worth noting that fuel polishing will only be efficient on stored fuels from the same blend, and it would only be efficient in cleaning the same fuel type i.e. just diesel fuel on its own. It wouldn’t be possible to polish mixtures of petrol and diesel stored in waste tanks for example.

  • Is fuel polishing really expensive?

Despite what people may think, it can actually be one of the most cost effective fuel treatments on the market when carried out efficiently. Obviously not every fuel polishing provider will be able to provide you with a value for money service, but most credible providers will typically charge you a fixed fee for smaller jobs, and normally a pence per litre cost for larger volumes of fuel. In addition, when you consider the fact that fuel cleaning can be carried out with no effect on your business operations, the saving on not enduring that potential downtime should also be factored in is a benefit.

  • Will fuel cleaning still work if the tank storing my fuel is old and/or corroded?

The short answer to this question is yes, although if you know that your fuel storage tank is several years old and hasn’t been routinely tested, then there are a few things you should consider before contracting a fuel polishing company like Crown Oil Environmental.

Firstly, you must consider the factors listed under the “appropriate option” FAQ response listed above, because fuel polishing will not be efficient on storage tanks full of water with biomass stuck to their walls and lining.

Secondly, you will need to assess just how badly your tank is corroded because if any pitting corrosion has occurred, then regardless of how well we clean your fuel, you are still going to face tank integrity issues as the pitting corrosion will wear away the tank lining.

To speak with our specialist fuel polishers call 0845 872 3344 now! Alternatively, you can quickly fill out the online query form and we’ll get back to you.

Check out our fuel polishing video!