F.A.Q About Diesel Testing

Who can we use to ship the sample?
You can send your sample through UPS, FedEx or the Postal Service.  All three will allow you to send diesel, bio-diesel, oil and coolant that are properly sealed and not leaking.
Is Diesel dangerous to send in the mail?
Shipping regular fuel is hazardous because it will cause a fire at much lower temperatures and there are Hazmat regulations when shipping fuel.  Diesel and bio-diesel are much more stable, and can be shipped without strict guidelines.  Just make sure you have your sample in a non-breakable bottle or well cushioned packaging to avoid leakage.
What are the most common tests?
-Distillation: This shows Fuel Economy, Regulated Ignition Quality, Combustibility and indicates Water and Contamination Levels and Indicates heavy fuel contamination
BS&W: Also known as Water & Sediment: Measures free water and particulate contamination
Karl Fischer: Will indicate the Precision Measurement of Total fuel Water content
Microbial Growth: Is a positive/negative test for Biological growth that lowers combustibility while increasing corrosive properties, engine wear and filter plugging
Sulfur: Will tell you if you are in the limits for Regulated (EPA, NFPA) Sulfur Levels
Appearance: Looks at Particulate Contamination, Free water, ASTM aging color
Flash Point: This checks the Regulated Ignition Quality, Fuel Economy
Cetane Index: Shows the Regulated Ignition Quality, Fuel Economy, Combustibility, Power Output
What is the difference between Gasoline and Diesel?
Gasoline and diesel fuel both are products that are made from crude oil. When a barrel of crude oil comes into the refinery, it’s distilled into its heavier and lighter components. The lighter stuff is used to make gasoline. The next-heaviest stuff becomes jet fuel. After that on the scale comes diesel. And below that is the stuff they use to fuel ships and run power plants. So, gasoline is lighter, less dense, more flammable and more volatile. When you spray gasoline into a cylinder, it starts to vaporize immediately, so that as soon as the spark plug fires, the gasoline detonates and powers the engine. Diesel fuel is heavier, denser, less flammable and less volatile. So in order to detonate it, it has to be compressed in a cylinder to a very high pressure and temperature, at which point it detonates without a spark.  The upside of diesel fuel is that, because it’s denser (like my brother), it has more energy per gallon. That’s one reason why diesel-powered vehicles get more miles per gallon. The downside is that diesel fuel requires a very-high-compression engine, which is more expensive to build. And because it relies on temperature to detonate, diesel engines traditionally have more trouble starting in cold temperatures. (Cartalk.com)
What is Diesel?
Diesel, in general is any liquid fuel used in diesel engines, whose fuel ignition takes place, without spark, as a result of compression of the inlet air mixture and then injection of fuel. (Wikipedia)
Why should I test for Flash Point if I am going to be shipping my fuel?
Hazmat requirements for fuel are based on the temperature and stability.  If your Flash Point is lower than expected, it could cause hazardous conditions during shipping if not contained properly.
What does Flash Point test for?
-Flash Point is the lowest temperature at which the vapors of a combustible liquid will ignite momentarily in air. Low diesel fuel flash points indicate contamination by more volatile fuels such as gasoline. For Flash Point by Pensky Martens and Flash Point by Cleveland Open Cup, refer to ASTM Guidelines for minimum flash point requirements.
    -The flash point of a material is the lowest temperature at which it can vaporize to form an ignitable mixture in the air.  (wikipedia)
What happens if sugar is in my tank?
If there is sugar in your tank, it will sink to the bottom of your tank.  Sugar does not dissolve in gasoline, so when you have sugar in the tank, as you use the fuel, some of the sugar will be pulled in and caught in the fuel filter.  If you have a lot of sugar in your tank, you will need to take it to someone to remove it.  Either a tank cleaning company or a mechanic can do this with little trouble, since it remains in the bottom.
How can I tell if there is Sugar in my tank?
Since sugar sinks to the bottom of your tank, it will be easy to see it.  If you are not able to see inside your tank, you can pull a sample and send it in to the lab and make sure it is actually sugar.
What happens if there is Water in my tank?
Water causes MANY issues in fuel.  It sits at the bottom OR mixes in the fuel, which will eventually stall the engine, fill fuel lines, filters and disrupt the combustion process.  It will cause the fuel to gel up at lower temperatures and freeze your fuel lines during colder weather.  It also is one of the main contributing factors for microbial contamination.
What should I do if there is water in my fuel?
You need to have a professional tank cleaning company or mechanic pull the water from your fuel.  If you leave the water in your tank, it will cause engine or generator failure.