Tank Cleaning ‘Can Help Prevent Filter Blockages’


Regular tank cleaning is one of the ways that farmers can reduce the number of filter blockages agricultural vehicles suffer, according to a National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) expert.

In his latest blog for the NFUS site , transport advisor Jamie Smart advised that there are several steps users of red diesel can undertake to reduce blockages.

As Farmer’s Weekly reports , the problems many are facing believed to be due to changes in the composition of the fuel they are using, which has been changed to reduce emissions. This centres on the amount of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) in red diesel. This is made from a mix of vegetable oils and animal fats.

In 2004 the British Standard for Road Diesel changed to allow up to five per cent FAME content, with this increasing to seven per cent for both diesel and red diesel in 2009. Under the terms of the government’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, the figure is due to rise to 12.4 per cent by 2032.

However, the National Farmers Union (NFU), NFUS and NFU Cymru have all been unhappy with the issue of blockages to filters on both storage tanks and machines and have taken up the issue with the British Standards Institution, which has been looking into the issue since the autumn of 2019.

Mr Smart’s top tips included using tank cleaning services to ensure the tank is regularly cleaned.

He warned: “Modern bunded tanks can be difficult to clean as they are designed more to prevent spillage and pollution,” adding that anyone buying a new storage tank should “think about how you are going to clean it out and remove any water that may collect in it”.

He also said fuel tanks should be located in places where they are sheltered from the worst of the weather, particularly “extremes of temperature”, while the outlet of the storage tank should have a “suitable” filter.


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