In the fuel industry, a common practice during the winter months has been to blend kerosene with diesel fuel. Historically, this technique was beneficial because the result was to lower the Cold Flow and the Cold Filter Plugging Point. This means the kerosene would contribute to keeping the fuel from clouding over and gelling, or at least would lower the temperature at which this would begin to happen. However, we want to point out that times have changed and so has diesel fuel and this practice is actually very outdated.
A recent article in Oil and Energy Online by Gary Pipenger called “Kerosene Doesn’t Winterize New Distillates Well” outlines the reasons why kerosene is not as successful in winterizing diesel fuel. Mr. Pipenger explains why: “The changes in the chemical and physical makeup of today’s diesel fuels and kerosene produced from heavier Canadian tar sand crudes and Bakken Basin shale formation crudes are significant. As a result, these changes produce much less cold flow operability protection improvement when the two fuels are blended together.”
Another important point brought up in the article is that diesel fuels blended with kerosene experience a decrease in fuel economy and fuel efficiency. Basically, the kerosene has a lower BTU (British Thermal Unit) meaning it contains less energy than diesel fuel and the result of the blending is that more fuel needs to be consumed to produce the same amount of work.
So what is the better alternative to winterizing your fuel? A properly formulated diesel fuel additive is a more effective solution! For example, our unique additive, called RoadChamp, is blended in the fuel we provide our customers and combined with a powerful deicer during the winter months. In addition to helping lower the Cold Filter Plugging Point, a winter fuel additive like RoadChamp can also provide important benefits like keeping the fuel injectors clean, enhance fuel lubricity, help control water, and overall help to maximize cold weather protection. Contact us today with any questions regarding our winter fuel additives!