The Making of 'Premium' Diesel Fuel

Part 2 - What is Really Needed?




Since the early 1990’s, the fastest growing market in the petroleum industry of North America has been premium diesel fuel. While this is true from a marketing point of view, the actual fuel products sold as being superior in quality and performance to No. 2-D diesel fuel often are quite different and vary significantly. This situation stems from the lack of an industry standard or even an accepted definition of precisely what a “premium” diesel fuel is or should be in the North American marketplace. While the comments herein are directed at No. 2-D diesel fuels for on and off-highway applications, many of the same comments can be made for both light and heavy distillate fuel oil products. Insights into these fuels will be provided at a later date.

In an endeavor to rectify this situation and provide some needed assistance to the marketplace the author of this editorial recently published an all inclusive article fully detailing every aspect of premium diesel fuel titled “THE MAKING OF PREMIUM DIESEL FUEL”. This article explicitly itemized the different performance parameters of diesel fuel and detailed precisely how to make each parameter better for the user.

The following pages are provided in an effort to further assist all aspects of the developing premium diesel fuel market and hopefully prevent the non-productive posturing activities which are currently underway by various factors within the fuel and fuel additive industries.

These posturing activities are specific attempts to limit the scope of premium diesel fuel marketing by venturing to sway the marketplace into believing that (1) most diesel fuels currently produced are already very nearly “premium in stature” and, therefore, should need no performance enhancement, (2) those fuels that might need performance quality improvement can be “enhanced with only a small amount of effort and cost”, and (3) there is “no substantial need to identify premium diesel fuel as a separate and distinct product” which would require segregated storage and handling.

The above mistaken beliefs are the cause of the failures by those who have previously undertaken the challenge to provide premium diesel fuels. And, these same untrue assumptions are the essence of the arguments put forth by those who constantly attempt to minimize the developing markets for premium diesel fuels in North America. The underlying questions is why these same people would go to such lengths to prevent something good from being made available to the fuel consumer? Could it be that a truly “better quality diesel fuel” would in fact reduce the overall consumption of diesel fuel and thus decrease total diesel fuel sales?

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