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BP: Retail Diesel Cleanliness Study Update

Rick Chapman, ASTM D02 Subcommittee 14 | December 3, 2007

Results of monthly measurements of service station diesel mass particulate (EN 12662) and particulate counting (ISO 4406) at 10 stations in a major US metropolitan area

  • OEMs concerned about fuel cleanliness: reported instances of injector, fuel filter and fuel system problems on the increase
  • BP started evaluating retail diesel fuel cleanliness in major US metropolitan area since 4Q2006: Storage tank and dispenser fuel (10 μ filers) at 10 stations; three sites were selected for finer filters (2 microns at first, then had to switch to 5 microns) at 3 sites; Stations sampled for flow rate every 1-2 weeks and for ISO 4406 particle counting every month
    • Retail diesel dispenser samples averaged 18/16/12 (range from ISO 4406 22/20/15 to 16/13/11) with 2 micron filters compared to average of 20/18/13 with 10 micron filters -WWFC spec is 18/16/13
      • But 2 micron filters did not last long enough (2-3 months vs. 6-12)
    • Service station diesel mass particulate contamination averaged 11 mg/kg per EN 12662 – met both World Wide Fuel Charter specification of 10 mg/L (roughly 12 mg/kg) and EN Diesel Fuel Specification of 24 mg/L (roughly 29 mg/kg)
    • Diesel cleanliness mass measurements (EN 12662) did not correlate well with ISO 4406 values
    • Biodiesel samples slightly “dirtier” than non-biodiesel samples
  • BP purchased particle size counter and plans to test using in-house dispenser filter test rig
  • Particulate mass determination by itself not satisfactory to determine fuel cleanliness

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