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How to "Spec" Premium Diesel Fuel Additives - PART 3



     Much has been written and promised regarding the fuel savings to be achieved from using ?premium diesel fuels? in today?s diesel engines.  And, while the fuel producers, fuel marketers, fuel suppliers, and most fuel additive companies tout the potential for fuel efficiency enhancement with ?premium diesel fuels?, the actual field results achieved by the fuel user are often much less than expected.  This article is written to explain why these discrepancies exist and clarify exactly what can be done to guarantee the fuel user his desired results will be achieved when using ?premium diesel fuels?.

     The definition for the term ?premium? is the root problem, which must be resolved.  Although several organizations and individuals (including this author) have offered their own ideas to define the term ?premium?, there is no industry-established definition in place today.  This lack of a formerly accepted standard for the term ?premium? continues to allow individual interpretation of just what should constitute a ?premium? diesel fuel.

    During the past several years, the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) met several times in an attempt to devise an acceptable description for ?premium diesel fuel?.  Unfortunately, the pressures for compromise between committee members and other outside influences created a situation which resulted in the NCWM rendering a final definition which is wholly inadequate for the fuel user.  And, a good opportunity for significant progress was lost. 

     At the same time, most fuel producers, several fuel marketers and numerous fuel suppliers       (and many fuel additive companies) applaud the NCWM work.  As a result of the ?2 of 5 Rule? adopted by the NCWM, today?s fuel providers (and fuel enhancement companies) can easily make most No.2-D fuel qualify as ?premium diesel fuels?.  Unfortunately, even problem fuels, can ?fit? into the NCWM?s description for a ?premium diesel fuel? if the right categories are chosen.  This is exactly opposite of what is needed in the ?premium diesel fuel? industry. 

     While the NCWM was working on their definition of ?premium diesel fuel?, the Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) in conjunction with the Truck Maintenance Council (TMC), was also attempting to resolve the issue.  The joint EMA/TMC committee did a much better job in defining ?premium diesel fuel?.  Unfortunately, the fuel producing industry has not adopted the joint EMA/TMC ?proposed premium diesel fuel pump specification?.  And, no wide-scale distribution of diesel fuels meeting the EMA/TMC proposal exists in the marketplace today.

     Regrettably, this does not help the diesel fuel user (producer, marketer, or supplier) who is in search of improved engine performance and better fuel economy.  Again those looking for better diesel fuel performance are left to construct their own description of what a ?premium diesel fuel? should be.  And, they alone must seek out the truth regarding the benefits achievable with a fuel meeting their own requirements.  This article will assist these searchers in their quest.

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