Frozen diesel – how modern diesel gels

The formulation of diesel has changed dramatically in recent years. Regulations introduced mean that the levels of sulphur in diesel must be reduced. Biofuel and FAME (Fatty Acid, Methyl, Ester) are added to diesel up to 7 per cent.

Although this reduces the sulphur content, FAME tends to form sludge and engine deposits with the diesel becoming more susceptible to clogged filters and most importantly diesel degradation.

This degradation then allows water to get into diesel. It is this water which has now contaminated your diesel becoming frozen during cold spells. The result is damage to your filter and fuel systems.

Stages of Frozen Diesel

ICE – As there is now an increased amount of water present in your diesel no matter where it comes from your diesel is at risk once temperatures begin to drop as water freezes at 0°C and this free water in your diesel will turn to ice crystals which can damage filters and fuel systems and in large quantity can completely block filters or pipes.

Cloud Point – Like water, hydrocarbons which make up diesel turn solid when they reach their freezing point. However, before they reach their freezing point as they start to cool down, they will begin to form smaller crystals. These crystals are not ice crystals like you get from the frozen water however as hydrocarbons turn into a waxy substance as they freeze. As these waxy crystals begin to form the diesel takes on a white hazy/cloudy appearance. This waxy substance begins to block filters causing issues to the flow of the fuel. This cloud point can start to appear at temperatures below 4°C.

Gelling – As temperatures drop below 4°C and again below 0°C the diesel starts to turn cloudy from the wax crystals forming and then ice crystals from the frozen water and as the diesel falls below -15°C the wax crystals will become larger as the waxy substance becomes thicker and begins to make your diesel look like a gel, it is impossible for this diesel to then flow thus you are unable to start your engine until you warm the diesel up.

Actioil – Eradicates water globules and  reduces your fuel’s cloud & gelling points

Actioil Diesel Treatment

Additives are the best way to combat the problems associated with modern diesel and to help with diesel gelling, however, most additives must be added every time you fill the tank either the storage or the machine/vehicle tank. Actioil Diesel System treatment only has to be used once a year in the vehicle/machine tank or once every 3 years in a storage tank to eradicate any bacteria and lubricity issues and to extend the lifespan of your diesel.

Actioil will also eradicate any water in your diesel preventing ice crystals ever forming, and when used with each fill of your storage tank it can also reduce the cloud and gelling points of your fuel further. Simply using 1 Litre of Actioil per 1,000L of fuel in your tank will bring the freezing point of your diesel down from -15°C to -21°C. The table below shows the amount of Actioil you require to reach -24°C & -28°C.

This essential diesel treatment is available today from Finol oils, the official distributor of Actioil in Ireland. To talk to one of our technical team about Actioil, contact our technical team today at 01-4555484 or go to for further information.

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Published on: December 17, 2019

Filled Under: Oil & Lubricants, Technical Articles

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