Whereas the majority of the countries on the continent chose gasoil for heating, the UK opted to meet its heating oil needs predominantly with kerosene due to its suitability for use in vaporising burners. Gasoil became Europe’s favourite as it was cheaper than kerosene. Prices of oil-related products are presently at their lowest in years, but concerns over the quality of Britain’s kerosene supply have recently come to the fore.
The quality of the fuel has become noticeably variable, as almost half of our kerosene is now imported from Russia, Asia, the Middle East and South America. A research project carried out last year involving the testing of 62 samples of kerosene collected and submitted by volunteers found that two-thirds of the samples had quality issues.
Of this problematic portion of the samples, almost 60 per cent had coking issues, particularly in AGAs and similar stoves; 25 per cent had housekeeping problems; and almost 20 per cent exhibited intrinsic fuel problems. Problems with imported kerosene include high levels of char – impurities left behind in the fuel from the refining processes involved in the production of kerosene.
The lack of control over sourcing or handling of kerosene could lead to higher amounts of problematic heating oil
fuel being imported. The age of the fuel is also a concern. Tankers bringing kerosene to the UK may have been in transit for long periods of time. As the hydrocarbon-rich fuel ages over time, larger and larger molecules accumulate in the mix, leading to higher char values.
The research project examined the char values of all submitted samples of kerosene. Young samples taken from UK refineries produced char values of just 1 milligram per kilo of fuel. Char values of imported fuels, by contrast, reached as high as 25mg per kg. Acceptable char values range between 5 to 15mg per kg.
Storage conditions present a further opportunity for fuel quality to degrade. Old, dirty and poorly maintained tanks left unsealed in humid environments were some of the conditions mentioned in the report. The research report recommends employing a proper tank maintenance scheme to prevent this occurring.
You can combat quality issues by using a treatment for your fuel. There are many names for treatment, we call it Eco Heat. Eco Heat can help to reduce deposits & soot, improve the nozzle spray pattern of your boiler and results in less maintenance. You can also find that your tank will have reduced sediment formation and your boiler will be less prone to filter blockage. If you want to order a bottle, get in touch with us via phone on 02890834055 or live chat.