Dehydrated: Water Demulsification With STA-BIL’s Fuel Additive

When we are driving our trucks, no matter the time of the year, that dreaded stop at the pump is inevitable. Whether you like it or not, these things get thirsty and we have to fulfill that thirst. For me, I take this opportunity to get the most out of my fuel stops. I don’t like to stop at fuel up so I do things to make my stops limited by shooting for better fuel mileage and trying to protect my fuel system.

While there are many different additives out there that offer increases in all categories, today we’re focusing on STA-BIL and their All-Season Fuel Treatment. Unlike some additives, STA-BIL really dials it in when it comes to fuel treatment and their attempt to get water out of the fuel is serious. In fact, labeled on both All-Season and Winter fuel treatment bottles, they advertise the products offer Water Demulsification.

What’s That?

What is Demulsification and what does it mean? Demulsification is a term for removing water from fuel. For those of you who don’t know this, water is present in all forms of diesel fuel. You may think it’s perfect out of the pump, but water is there. This happens in the delivery process, condensation from its storage tank, or just flat out accidental contamination.

Water in the fuel is disastrous. Not only is it corrosive, but it will also freeze. Neither of these results is something you want in your fuel system considering the cost of some of the components. Once the water mixes with the fuel, it will emulsify into a milky substance.

To make this easier, the marketing team at STA-BIL made this presentation of how the product actually works and separates the water from the fuel.

We spoke with Bob Galuska, Brand Manager of STA-BIL, and got his thoughts on this entire process and what they are striving to do with their products. “STA-BIL All Season Demulsifies water. Demulsification helps water molecules join together and become large enough for the fuel water separator to remove them. This chemistry allows the fuel water separator to work more efficiently. OEMs recommend the use of de-emulsifiers in fuel additives,” Galuska said.

He continued, “The diesel community relies on trusted brands such as ours to provide them with quality products. We do not make any claims that our chemistry cannot stand behind. Our additives do exactly what we say. Many of the people who own diesel vehicles have businesses to run and don’t have time for issues that could have been simply avoided by just adding a fuel additive.”

Continuing our conversation, Galuska went on by saying that this emulsification process could be the starting point of microbial growth in the fuel. This is why it is so critical to treat your fuel every time you fill up because if you don’t, it could be costly. “All engine manufacturers do not want any water in their injection system and for a good reason,” Galuska said.

Many of our competitors try to disperse water in the fuel but that doesn’t remove it, it disperses it. It spreads it out throughout the fuel and it can then go exactly where you don’t want it: Into your injection system. Water cannot burn and it changes the density of the fuel being burned. Water will eventually corrode internal injection components over time. Dispersion also stops the fuel water separator from doing its intended job.

STA-BIL History

For those of you who are new to the diesel industry, chances are you’re still familiar with the brand name. STA-BIL has been around for years and with their experience, they aren’t going anywhere. In fact, STA-BIL is a child of their parent company, Gold Eagle, which is based in Chicago, Illinois, and they have been around for almost 90 years.

STA-BIL itself has been around for almost 65 years and works out of a 25,000 square foot manufacturing facility with another 200,000 square foot distribution center a block away. We are hoping that next time we get north for an event, we can make a stop in there and check out the manufacturing process and show you guys how it all works!

For more information about STA-BIL and the rest of their products, head on over to their website here. What are your thoughts on the battle against water? What additives do you use? Let us know in the comments below. Stay tuned to Diesel Army for more.

 

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About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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