The diesel vehicle drivers and fleets fueling up at your c-store locations are looking for a product that performs well. Are you offering what they need? Here are three major performance traits your diesel customers want and need.
Diesel engines and parts like fuel pumps and injectors require lubrication to prevent damage. Lubricity is the measure of the reduction in friction or wear on parts. Sulfur gives petroleum diesel its lubricating properties, so ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) offers almost zero lubricity, as you may have guessed from its name. That means some fleets use a lubricity additive in their ULSD which adds cost to their operations. When fuel suppliers put it in, they may pass that added expense downstream — potentially to your c-store.
But additives aren’t the only solution. Biodiesel, for example, has oxygen that provides lubricity. In fact, running on B2 (just 2% biodiesel and 98% ULSD) gives fuel enough lubricity to meet the ASTM D975 spec. More and more fleets are running on B20 (that’s 20% biodiesel, 80% ULSD), boosting their lubricity and extending the life of critical parts even further.
Cetane numbers indicate the combustion speed of a fuel and are used to gauge overall fuel quality. Higher Cetane means shorter ignition time, which means more time for complete combustion and more effective performance. The ASTM Cetane spec for diesel is 40. Many fleets want a higher number, and in many cases their diesel engines require it to perform well. Additives are an option here too — and so is biodiesel. Biodiesel’s Cetane spec is 47, significantly improving the efficiency of diesel engines.
Diesel Particulate Filter Cleanliness
The diesel particulate filter (DPF) captures particulate matter (also called soot) from the engine’s exhaust to reduce harmful emissions from entering the atmosphere. When the DPF is getting full, it is heated to burn off the particulates, which is called regeneration. This decreases fuel efficiency and leads to more frequent filter changes — downtime and expense your customers don’t want to deal with. Talk to your customers and you’ll learn how big of a headache DPFs are for them.
Cleaner fuels can help reduce wear on DPFs. For example, biodiesel produces less particulate matter so less material makes its way to the DPF, decreasing the need for “regens” and maintenance on the component.
If you’d like a visual on these important fuel quality traits, here’s an animated video CStore Decisions has shared that ventures inside a diesel engine to explain the benefits of and differences between fuel options. If you still have questions about your diesel customers’ needs, I’d be happy to help: [email protected].