Fuels Market News Magazine Winter 2018

Page 76


by Brian Derge

It’s Time to Phase Out Out-Dated Phase Separation Detection Devices

Most U.S. gas stations already sell E10 as their predominant

fuel. The number of stations selling E85 increased over 300 percent from 2006 to 2016. And the number of U.S. stations offering E15 has more than doubled since 2016. Ethanol is solidifying its place in the supply chain. The increased distribution of ethanol has given rise to one of retail fuel’s most unforgiving cautionary tales: phase separation. This in-tank catastrophe has destroyed hundreds of thousands of gallons of inventory across North America and resulted in untold losses in customer loyalty. Making matters worse, tank-monitoring systems that produce false phase separation alarms—a common problem for fuel retailers—increase the likelihood of distributing contaminated fuel. Site operators, frustrated by the false alarms, sometimes make imprudent compliance management choices. These decisions put station equipment, customer loyalty and profits at risk. Fuel marketers who understand how phase separation occurs and what new tools are available to help prevent the distribution of contaminated fuel will be in the best position to protect their bottom line.

It takes very little water to cause phase separation, a process that can lead to four distinct layers of inventory inside the tank.




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