How Long Does Diesel Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 12 months

The shelf life of diesel would not be more than 12 months due to all the modern processing methods. Environmental and economic concerns also affect the shelf life of diesel. It is believed by many experts that diesel should be used in 28 days. Experts also marked that if the diesel is not used at the earliest, then it would start losing its properties.

The fuel can be stored for 12 months or less. There are many conditions that will affect the shelf life of the fuel. The diesel fuel needs stabilizers and biocides to have a good shelf life.

How Long Does Diesel Last?

Diesel Fuel How Long Does Diesel Last
Minimum shelf life6 months
Maximum shelf life12 months

The shelf life of diesel can vary depending on how the person stores it. Some of the conditions required for storing the diesel for a long time are:

Store the diesel in an extremely cool place with a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The diesel should be treated with stabilizers and biocides.

Maintain the quality of diesel according to the NFPA.

NFPA is a National Fire Prevention Association that develops recommendations for reducing the risks associated with the fire. The organization is independent and researches well on the codes for equipment to help the commercial fires.

If the diesel is not stored following the required condition, then the main risks are:
Growth of microorganisms
Oxidation of fuel
Hydrolysis

The above-mentioned factors decrease the quality of the diesel. The diesel with these factors will not last for more than 6 months. The growth of microbes is a big problem for the shelf life of diesel. Once you keep the diesel without any proper storage plan, then it would start hosting microbes.

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These microbes will affect the quality of the diesel and the vehicle or generator would stop in an emergency situation. Once the quality starts getting down, the diesel will not work smoothly in any vehicle. Many people purchase diesel fuel to save their money. Mainly, people purchase the fuel when the price is low and store it for a long time.

If someone is purchasing the diesel in bulk, then use a ground-installed container to store the diesel. The location would help in keeping the diesel far from any type of environmental influence or risks of fire.

Why Does Diesel Last For This Long?

Storing the fuel in an isolated area is vital. The more correctly you will store the fuel, the shelf life would increase accordingly. If someone is storing a very less amount of fuel, then use a plastic bottle to store the fuel. Diesel fuel is prepared by mixing many hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons are obtained by doing the distillation process to the crude oil.

Petro diesel is made with the help of fractional distillation. This process separates many components from the crude oil with the help of the boiling process. The boiling point of diesel is extremely high as compared to gasoline. The shelf life of diesel is more than gasoline, as gasoline can’t be stored for more than 3 months.

Once the diesel starts getting bad, it will affect the engine’s working structure. Filtering is a vital process to keep the diesel out of impurities. The formula of diesel is the reason behind the low shelf life of diesel. The person can increase the shelf life of diesel by doing fuel treatment to it. Fuel treatment would help in maintaining the stable state of the diesel.

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Make sure to store the diesel in an air-tight container to avoid any type of environmental reaction. This will also help in preventing excess exposure of water to diesel.

Conclusion

Make a proper monitoring and maintenance plan for the stored diesel. If the diesel is stored near to any generator, then the person has to keep an eye on it. Don’t mix the old and new fuel as it would not help. Clean the tank before storing the new fuel. It’s always best to use the diesel at the earliest as the quality is best during the initial time period.

If the engine is already having issues, then there is no point to use the new diesel in it.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032107001438
  2. https://www.sae.org/publications/technical-papers/content/R-303/
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