In order to meet more stringent fuel economy and emissions standards, engine manufacturers are designing engines that push fuel at higher pressures through tighter spaces. Doing so increases the importance of controlling the size of contaminants that make it through the fuel system. For this reason, most equipment now utilizes 2 micron or smaller filters.
Consider the job of the fuel filter on your fuel storage tank and how it has changed over the past few years. Filter and internal media have been re-designed to keep pace with the demands of the fuel flowing through the system. With the different variety of filters available, it can be difficult to select the right one for your situation.
We recommend using 10 micron/2 micron progressive density filters to match the filtration of the fuel going into the equipment with the filter on the engine. As a standard guideline, we do not recommend using anything larger than a 10 micron filter.
Paper or cellulose media filters such as the FS Power Protectors are recommended for use only in gravity flow or low volume applications. The media utilized in these types of filters is not compatible with biodiesel and will be torn apart from the pressure of pumping fuel.
Microglass media filters such as the FS BIO-Power are recommended for use with ethanol blended gasoline up to E15, ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD), and biodiesel blends up to B100. Microglass media filters are designed to remove particles and hold up under the pressures of a high volume fuel pump.
Filters utilizing Hydroglass or Hydrosorb are designed to detect water in fuel. All ULSD contains suspended water and additional water can accumulate from condensation during storage. Hydroglass or Hydrosorb filters can effectively remove small amounts of water. However, if they plug too quickly, we recommend other actions such as physically removing water from the tank bottom.
To avoid filter plugging at critical times, keep an eye on the flow of your fuel from the storage tank. A drop in flow or fuel pressure is a good indication that your filter is reaching the end of its useful life. Also, consider changing filters prior to entering a high fuel-use season, such as planting or harvest. A new, clean filter can be inexpensive insurance that may keep you running when time is short and operations are critical. Contact your FS Energy Specialist for more expertise.
Curt Dunafin serves the FS System as GROWMARK Manager, Energy Services. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.