I recently sampled nine refineries to test their fuel’s performance this winter. The base fuel performance for CFPP and cloud point were all over. The worst performer was +10F and the best was -9F. Reactivity with cold-flow improvers were inconsistent as well. One type of polymer worked with one fuel but not with another. Treat rates varied as well, resulting in different treat cost. A couple samples showed no improvement without the addition of #1. So the question the end user has, “What is my fuel’s winter performance?” Not an easy answer without reliable testing.
What are the pro/cons of adding #1 to #2 for winter performance?
- consistent winter performance, typically lowers #2 CFPP 10-15F
- easily available
- blended at the rack
- lowered BTU, lower fuel economy
- drier fuel, even less lubricity than #2 (more pump/injector wear)
- cost-typically adds 15-30 cents per gallon to fuel cost
What are the pro/cons of using an anti-gel winter additive?
- Treat cost is less than adding #1
- Does the additive emulsify water in fuel & tank
- Some additives increase the lubricity of the fuel
- Other benefits-cetane, moisture control, & detergents to keep your fuel systems clean
- Increase fuel economy
- Have to add it yourself or order from fuel provider
- Is it at the correct treat rate for the performance you need
- Does the additive demulsify water in fuel & tank
- Does the additive lower the lubricity of the fuel (more pump/injector wear)
- Supply, can you get it when you need it