Biodiesel Storage Tips

Just as with straight diesel fuel, proper tank maintenance will go a long way in assuring trouble-free fuel systems. Protect your capital investment as well as engine health with proper maintenance of fuel storage tanks and equipment.

Follow these best management practices to help guard against biodiesel and diesel fuel storage and system failures:

  • Avoid temperature extremes. High temperatures can accelerate fuel degradation. Underground tanks are preferred to avoid temperature extremes, but reflective paint and shelters can reduce the effects of heat on above-ground tanks.
  • Use stainless steel, aluminum, Teflon® or fiberglass storage materials. Avoid lead solders, zinc linings, copper pipes, brass regulators and copper fittings. These materials may accelerate the oxidation of biodiesel and potentially create sediments, gels or salts.
  • Keep storage tanks and fuel system water-free at all times. Water can promote fuel system corrosion and microbial growth, which can compromise fuel quality. Install a dispenser filter to keep any contamination from passing through to vehicles. Inspect vents regularly to make sure water cannot enter the tank.
  • Take tank samples regularly. Fuel should be clear and bright. A sample should be taken before and after every fuel delivery, especially if fuel is not delivered frequently. If this is not feasible for you to do on your operation, ask your supplier to help.

Work with your fuel supplier to safeguard product quality, and follow these storage tips to help your farm’s engines utilize biodiesel to its highest potential. Always remember that unprocessed, raw vegetable oils and animal fats are NOT biodiesel.

This information was compiled from National Biodiesel Board, National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission and Illinois Soybean Association resources and funded by the Illinois soybean checkoff.


For more information or to request an interview, contact:

Amy Roady

Rebecca Richardson