In this article, Kenny Berrie, technical manager from Dieselec Thistle Generators will examine the implications of EU-legislation governing the formulation of red diesel on the way that it is stored, advising on the potential costs to hospitals of fuel stagnation and how to avoid them.
Introduced in January 2011, EU Directive 2009/30/EU sets out the manufacturing changes to gas oil (red diesel) used in generators in order to ensure reliable operation of pollutant emissions control systems, which are also mandatory from this year. Low sulphur diesel with a small percentage of bio-diesel has already been formulated by UK refineries for use at the pumps and the same formulation is now applicable to be used in gas oil (red diesel) for generators. While this will provide an environmentally-improved and efficient fuel, it has implications for the shelf-life of fuel kept on standby in bulk storage: a regular requirement at hospital sites where 200 hours of fuel autonomy is required.
In this article, Kenny will discuss the oxidation risk of low sulphur fuels and the bacterial contamination risk of fuels containing bio-diesel, highlighting the need for a routine maintenance programme to ensure fuel condition during storage. Without it, he argues, hospitals could find that fuel is unusable just a year after being deposited in bulk storage, wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Kenny discusses the use of fuel polishing systems as a cost-effective way to prolong fuel life and ensure that fuel kept in bulk storage remains in useable condition until it is required, stressing the importance of fuel condition management in business continuity.