Kerosene fuel storage

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by BradB, Oct 11, 2021.

  1. BradB

    BradB United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,584
    Location:
    Central North Carolina USA
    There have been many discussions about fuel storage, but I have a kerosene/paraffin question. I have a diesel sailboat engine in which I always add a biocide to stop growth inside the fuel tank. Should our kerosene fuel get the same treatment? I have 2 1/2 gallon containers and it may take me several years to use the fuel. For that matter, will fuel sitting in an unused stove also support growth? I know, the obvious answer to to burn more kerosene to keep it from going bad.
     
  2. clancambo

    clancambo Australia Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    296
    Location:
    Lilydale, Victoria, Australia.
    I have an untreated 20 litre drum of kerosene which is about 8 years old. It burns perfectly in all my stoves and lamps.
     
  3. Marc

    Marc Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    5,654
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    From the dire warnings on my bottle of diesel biocide, I wouldn't be in a hurry to breathe the exhaust of anything burning that stuff.

    Have only had one can of fuel go off on me, and it was a can of Jet A from the local airport.
     
  4. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    12,057
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washinghton, USA
    "Biocide" has an ominous sound to it...
     
  5. SimonFoxxx

    SimonFoxxx Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    Messages:
    394
    Location:
    New Zealand
    How does Jet A1 go off, if you mind me asking?
     
  6. Wim

    Wim Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,569
    Location:
    Dendermonde, Belgium
    I never had any kerosene/paraffin go bad. I think it has to do with environment (wet & cold, hot & dry) and storage, and maybe (if you are sailing in salt water) the salt in the air. I also have a jerry can of diesel I forgot about, changed it from a metal can to a plastic one filtering it at the same time. Still looks OK to me! I am not even going to try with modern petrol/gasoline containing alcohol, but I am using some 'old' petrol in my lawnmower, no problem at all. Filled 2 20liter cans at least 5 years ago, maybe longer.
     
  7. Kiwi NZ

    Kiwi NZ Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2016
    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I have plenty of kero that has bee sitting around for years and is still good.
    Sometimes i find some that i had stashed away so long ago that I can not remember how long, the blue colourant that is used has degraded to pale gold but it burns the same none the less.
    I think that maybe that diesel bug is unique to the marine enviroment, I dont know, just a thought.
    I would be worried about that biocide in case it got intro the genorators and caused genocide.

    Just burn it and see, that is what the rest of us does.
     
  8. Rangie

    Rangie Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,669
    Location:
    Caithness, Far North of Scotland
    I have seen the hell that is Diesel "gone off" with diesel bug in boats and agriculture. It appears that the bug is "brought in" with the fuel and is somehow incubated in the storage tanks.
    I have only seen it a handful of times here in the north of Scotland and its a nightmare to purge/clean systems.

    I have paraffin stored for up to 30 years here. I used some stored from the 90s (Ex Northern Lighthouse Board), this summer at a remote holiday home, its used for wick and pressure lanterns. No problems with extended storage, its very stable.

    I think luck plays its part. If its clean fuel, you'll be safe.

    Alec.
     
  9. Marc

    Marc Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    5,654
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    I used the term "off" as I'm not 100% sure what it did. Got a strong vinegar smell to it, and some dark honey colored droplets in the very bottom of the jug. When I emptied the jug, the droplets turned out to be hard, as if wax or candy had been dropped into water and hardened. I discovered the issue when the kero clogged a whole bunch of wick appliances in a few minutes. Just completely carbon over the top of the wick, the lanterns stopped burning in less than an hour, and required a wick trimming.

    At the time, like an idiot, I shrugged and dumped it in my truck's fuel tank(it'll eat anything), and only then did research on what it could have been. This was dumb, as the closest I found to what had happened was someone saying that vinegar smell = diesel bug. Well, that's a lesson to me, look BEFORE you leap! Dosed my truck tank with a goodly dose of biocide, several years onward now and no issues.

    I've not had any kero deteriorate in any kind of way, other than that. I suspect that when I asked for Jet A at the airport and handed over a jug marked "kerosene", they knew full well that I wasn't putting the fuel in any kind of turbine powered aircraft, and gave me some drain fuel instead of the fresh stuff. Probably had no clue it was contaminated.

    This also reinforced my thinking that for long term storage, multiple smaller containers is better than one large container and keeping all your fuel-storage eggs in one basket. Small containers allows for only unsealing a relatively small amount at a time, and if one container gets contaminated, only that one container is contaminated, instead of the whole of your storage being contaminated.
     
  10. Wim

    Wim Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,569
    Location:
    Dendermonde, Belgium
    Odd, very odd indeed. Aircraft fuel is supposed to be cleaner than clean!?! As you say, it will not have been the fresh stuff for sure. I know an anti-freeze fluid of sorts is added to aircraft fuel (a friend , now retired, ran a company that sold this stuff). No idea what is used, but maybe the whatzit reacted with something else?
    When I have my cans filled at the pump (2 x 20liters) I also put the kero in 1liter plastic bottles and 1 3l metal can. I do this because it is easier to fill a stove or lantern from a 1l bottle, but you're perfectly right about spreading the risk! Never thought of that myself really.
     
  11. Marc

    Marc Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    5,654
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    I've read that diesel bug lives on the boundary between water and fuel, and feeds on sulfur. Jet A isn't regulated for sulfur levels the same way diesel is, as turbines don't have emissions equipment that is poisoned by sulfur the way modern diesels do, which means the sulfur level can be MUCH higher in Jet A than in diesel. My thought is that more sulfur = more diesel bug food = more chance of diesel bug.

    This is also a thought for people buying kero at the pump, at least here in the USA. Here in the USA, most of what is sold as "kerosene" at the pump is actually number 1 diesel fuel. Number 1 diesel fuel meets the spec of kerosene, except that the allowable amount of sulfur is MUCH less. This means that number 1 diesel fuel is better kerosene than kerosene, and potentially also less likely to get diesel bug. Although if you keep water out of your fuel, it shouldn't be an issue at all.
     
  12. BradB

    BradB United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,584
    Location:
    Central North Carolina USA
    @Marc do you think it is true for pumps labelled “clear k1”? That is what my local kerosene pump says.
     
  13. nmp

    nmp United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,582
    Some of my Kero turns blue if left in a stove changing from a pale yellow. Thought it might be leached copper from the brass tank?

    Any thoughts?

    Nick
     
  14. Marc

    Marc Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    5,654
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    Give it a sniff. If it smells mild like diesel, it probably is. If it stinks like generic hardware store kerosene(not Klean Heat or one of the low odor fuels), it's likely kerosene.
     
  15. BradB

    BradB United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,584
    Location:
    Central North Carolina USA
    I actually seldom use the pump kerosene in my stoves. I do buy the pump stuff 10 gallons at a time to use in my Toyokuni heater in my garage/workshop. My stoves get the high priced stuff from Home Depot.
     
  16. Yun124

    Yun124 Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2020
    Messages:
    226
    Location:
    Gangnam, Seoul in Korea
    I really hope to have the better Kerosene as non-odor, because in Korea there is no option we have only Kerosene from the Motor Stations.
    Nobody company imports the alternatives, better keros, because of no demand.
    Even if the Pure Kerosene itself from Korean Motor stations - the quality is best, but it still has Kero smell.

    And Nobody can't import any soft of Petrol, requires so many documents and certs, right, handling permission, many...

    Meantime, I think Kerosene can be stored much longer than motor fuels if the container has good sealing and at the calm condition based on my personal experience, but the suppliers still declare as Only 6-12months even for Kerosene.
     
  17. Fettler United States

    Offline
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2019
    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    Ioway

    소주 !! :) I find this very good for "medicinal purposes" as we say in English