Diesel fuel undergoes a small level of refinement. For this reason, the diesel may not last as long as other fuels when placed in storage unless special measures are taken to prolong the life of the diesel. You will need to use the right storage vessel and will also need to add certain additives:
Storing Diesel in the Right Container
Make sure you know what you are storing is diesel by using the right container. Diesel containers are yellow. Follow this convention to make sure you don't confuse your diesel with something else.
What Happens to Diesel Over Time
Diesel becomes less potent over time, so you will not want to store diesel in the long-term. Without additives designed to prolong the life of the diesel, it will usually last about a year. However, depending on the composition of the diesel, it might not even last that long. The diesel gets older and a sediment forms as a result of a reaction to the diesel and oxygen from the air.
The sediment blocks the fuel filters and causes fuel starvation. This can lead to the engine stopping eventually. The sediments do not burn easily and this leads to carbon and soot forming on injectors.
Additives You Should Add
Fortunately, there are additives for diesel that can keep the fuel in the best condition possible. The additives can be added at any point and some will even restore the diesel after it has reached a point of being unusable. Biocides are added to kill bacterial growth. Stability treatments prevent the fuel from breaking down.
The Fuel Tank You Should Use
If you can minimize the amount of space in the tank, you will reduce the risk that water vapor will accumulate in the diesel over time.
Protect Your Fuel
Certain substances can accelerate the speed at which diesel deteriorates. Protect your fuel from:
Try to keep the temperature of the diesel at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is too high, the fuel will deteriorate more quickly. Also, store the fuel container in a clean place and protect it from dust and other debris. Any contaminants that accidentally enter the fuel can reduce how long the fuel lasts.
When you try to use diesel, use the oldest fuel that you know is still usable. Mark on the container the date you originally obtained the fuel so you can evaluate whether the fuel is still usable. To learn more, you might contact a professional fuel company for more information.