Guidelines To Follow For Long Term Storage Of Diesel

Michael James

Guidelines To Follow For Long Term Storage Of Diesel

Are you looking for effective and practical guidelines to ensure the long-term storage of diesel? There are plenty of reasons why you’d like to store diesel for sometime, but without proper know-how, you might endanger yourself or others.

In this article, we will provide you essential information you need to keep diesel fuel in optimal condition for extended periods. From proper storage, knowing how long you can store diesel  and how to keep potential issues at bay, this article will help you make the right decisions.

Regardless if you’re looking to store diesel for your own consumption or for your business, following these guidelines will help you avoid potential problems such as fuel degradation, contamination, and loss of efficiency.

Guidelines To Follow For Long Term Storage Of Diesel

Choosing the Right Storage Container

The right storage container for your diesel fuel is essential for long-term storage. Consider factors such as durability, protection, and cost to find the best container. You’ll want to choose the proper storage container for your diesel to ensure its long-term preservation. 

When storing diesel fuel, the container you use plays a crucial role in maintaining its quality and preventing contamination. The most common options for storage containers include steel tanks, polyethylene tanks, and drums.

Steel tanks are a popular choice due to their durability and strength. They offer excellent protection against external elements and are resistant to corrosion. However, they can be quite expensive and heavy, making them less convenient for some users.

Polyethylene tanks, on the other hand, are lightweight, affordable, and resistant to corrosion. They are an excellent option for those who need a portable container. However, they may not be as durable as steel tanks and might not provide the same level of protection.

Drums are another alternative for diesel storage. They are easy to handle, affordable, and widely available. However, they may not offer the same protection against external elements as tanks. If you choose to use drums, make them of high-density polyethylene and have a proper seal to prevent leakage.

Treating the Diesel Fuel with Stabilizers

To ensure optimal preservation of your diesel fuel over time, consider treating it with stabilizers to maintain its quality. Stabilizers are chemical additives designed to prevent diesel fuel breakdown and inhibit harmful microorganisms’ growth. They prevent oxidation and sediment formation, leading to fuel degradation and clogging your engine’s filters.

When choosing a stabilizer, make sure it’s specifically formulated for diesel fuel. Diesel stabilizers contain corrosion inhibitors that protect metal surfaces in your fuel system from rust and corrosion. They should have biocidal properties to kill and prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi, and algae, which can cause fuel contamination.

To treat your diesel fuel with stabilizers, determine the appropriate dosage based on the fuel volume you need to treat. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as adding too much stabilizer can be as harmful as not adding enough. Add the stabilizer to the fuel tank before storing the diesel for an extended period.

Regularly test your diesel fuel for water content, microbial growth, and fuel quality. If any issues arise, take immediate action to rectify the problem. By treating your diesel fuel with stabilizers, you can ensure that it remains in optimal condition for extended periods of storage, saving you from potential engine damage and costly repairs in the future.

Maintaining Proper Temperature and Humidity Levels

Maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels is key to keeping your diesel fuel in top condition for extended storage periods. It’s important to store diesel fuel in a cool, dry place to prevent degradation and ensure longevity.

When it comes to temperature, aim to keep the storage area between 50°F and 70°F (10°C and 21°C). Extreme heat or cold can cause the fuel to break down, forming sediments and water accumulation. These factors can negatively impact the fuel’s performance and cause engine problems.

Humidity control is equally crucial. High humidity levels can result in water condensation inside the storage tank, leading to microbial growth and corrosion. To prevent this, use a dehumidifier or desiccant to maintain humidity levels below 70%. Ensure the storage area is well-ventilated to promote air circulation and reduce moisture buildup.

Regularly monitor the temperature and humidity levels within the storage area to ensure they remain within the recommended range. Consider investing in a temperature and humidity monitoring system to simplify this task. By maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels, you can safeguard your diesel fuel from degradation, prolong its shelf life, and ensure optimal performance when using it.

Regularly Inspecting and Testing the Fuel

Regularly inspect and test your fuel to ensure its quality and performance remain at their peak. It’s crucial to regularly check the diesel fuel stored for long-term usage to prevent any issues that may arise from contamination or degradation.

One important aspect of fuel inspection is checking for water and sediment accumulation. Water can enter the fuel tank through condensation or leaks, and it can cause microbial growth and rust. Sediment, on the other hand, can clog fuel filters and injectors, leading to engine damage. Using a water-finding paste and inspecting the fuel filters, you can identify potential problems and take necessary actions.

It’s recommended to periodically test the fuel’s chemical properties, such as its cetane number and lubricity, to ensure it meets the required specifications. This will help maintain the engine’s efficiency and protect it from wear and tear.

Monitoring the fuel’s color and odor can provide early indications of contamination or degradation. If any abnormality is detected during the inspection or testing, it’s essential to take immediate corrective measures, such as fuel polishing or fuel treatment, to restore the fuel’s quality.

Implementing a Rotation Schedule

One effective way to ensure top-notch fuel quality and performance is by implementing a rotation schedule. Regularly rotating your diesel fuel prevents any potential degradation and maintains its optimal condition for a more extended period.

To start, it’s necessary to label your fuel containers with the date of purchase or delivery. This will help you keep track of the age of the fuel and prioritize its usage accordingly. When using diesel fuel for your equipment or vehicles, always use the oldest fuel first. This way, you can prevent any fuel from sitting unused for an extended period, which can lead to deterioration.

It’s crucial to refill your fuel supply with fresh diesel periodically. This will help maintain a consistent quality and prevent any accumulation of contaminants or moisture. Adding new fuel to your existing supply essentially refreshes the entire batch and ensures its longevity.

Implementing a rotation schedule also allows you to inspect and test the quality of your fuel regularly. By visually inspecting for any signs of contamination or discoloration and conducting regular tests to check for water content, you can detect potential issues early on and take appropriate actions to prevent further damage.

Implementing a rotation schedule is an essential step in long-term diesel fuel storage. By prioritizing the usage of older fuel, regularly refilling with fresh diesel, and conducting inspections and tests, you can maintain the quality and performance of your fuel, ensuring its reliability when you need it most.

Keeping the Storage Area Clean and Free from Contaminants

Ensuring a clean and contaminant-free storage area is critical to preserving the quality of your diesel fuel. By following some simple guidelines, you can maintain a storage area that minimizes the risk of contamination and extends the lifespan of your fuel.

Start by regularly cleaning the storage area. Remove any debris, dirt, or spills that may have accumulated. Use appropriate cleaning agents and tools to ensure thorough cleaning, paying special attention to areas where contaminants can quickly build up.

It’s also crucial to prevent water from entering the storage area. Water can introduce microorganisms and accelerate fuel degradation. Regularly inspect the storage area for leaks or where water might seep in. Fix any issues promptly to maintain a dry environment.

Implement measures to control and minimize dust and dirt. Install air filters or use dust covers on vents and openings to prevent contaminants from entering the storage area. Regularly inspect and clean these filters or covers to ensure they’re effective.

Establish a strict policy for maintaining cleanliness in the storage area. Train employees or personnel on proper storage procedures and the importance of cleanliness. Regularly monitor and enforce these guidelines to ensure compliance.

Guidelines To Follow For Long Term Storage Of Diesel

Ensuring Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is essential to maintain a clean and contaminant-free environment for your diesel fuel, allowing for optimal air circulation and preventing the buildup of harmful substances. It’s crucial to ensure that the storage area is well-ventilated when storing diesel for the long term.

Ensure the storage area has adequate ventilation openings or vents. These openings should be strategically placed to promote cross-ventilation and allow fresh air to enter while stale air is expelled. Regularly inspect these vents to ensure they’re not blocked or obstructed by any debris or objects.

Consider installing an exhaust fan or ventilation system to enhance air circulation. This will help remove fumes or vapors that may accumulate in the storage area, preventing them from becoming concentrated and potentially hazardous.

It’s also important to avoid storing diesel in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces such as basements or small rooms. These areas can trap fumes and increase the risk of fire or explosion. Instead, choose a well-ventilated and dedicated storage area specifically designed for fuel storage.


Following these guidelines will help ensure the long-term storage of your diesel fuel. Remember to choose the correct storage container and treat the fuel with stabilizers. Maintain proper temperature and humidity levels, regularly inspect and test the fuel, and implement a rotation schedule. 

Always follow safety regulations and best practices so you can protect the quality and usability of your diesel fuel for an extended period.

Article Last Updated: October 27, 2023.

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