State of Global Energy and Emissions.

The IEA (International Energy Agency) has published their yearly Global energy report and it is showing some interesting developments, market changes, and growth. Today we will explore the data that is presented in the report, and detail as closely as we can. The report was published in March of 2018 with data that has been aggregated from different sectors of the energy industry. The reports key findings are as follows:

 

  • Global energy demand has increased by 2.1% in 2017, compared to 0.9% in 2016 following the trend of global increase of .9% for the last 5 years.
  • Global energy-related CO2 emissions grew by 1.4% in 2017, reaching a historic high of 32.5 gigatonnes (Gt)
  • Global natural gas demand grew by 3%
  • Global coal demand rose about 1% in 2017, reversing the declining trend seen over the last two years.
  • World electricity demand increased by 3.1%, significantly higher than the overall increase in energy demand

Global energy demand

According to the IEA report, global energy demand grew by 2.1% more than twice the growth rate of 2016 and the prior 5 years. Fossil fuels met 70% of the growth in energy growth all around the world. Natural gas demand increased to a record share of 22% in total energy demand and finally nuclear accounted for 2% of the growth.

Energy and Emission -Fuel Delivery

CO2 emissions

According to the report “Global energy-related Co2 emissions rose by 1.4% in 2017, an increase of 460 million tons (Mt) and reached a historic high of 32.5 Gt.” Last year’s growth came after three years of flat emissions and contrasts with the sharp reduction needed to meet the goals of the Paris agreement on climate change.”

Energy and Emission -Fuel Delivery

The increase in carbon emissions is a direct result of the 3.7% global economic growth, lower fossil fuel prices, and weaker energy efficiency efforts. These three factors were the main contributors to pushing up global energy demand by 2.1%, however, the emission growth trend was not universal. Although many major economies saw a rise in carbon emissions, some others experienced declines, such as the United States, the United Kingdoms, Mexico, and Japan.

Of all of the countries in emission decline, the biggest came from the United States by 0.5% or 25 million tons of CO2, marking the 3rd consecutive year of emission decline. In the United Kingdom, emissions dropped by 3.8% or 15 million tons to 350Mt, the lowest level on record since 1960. A continued shift away from coal towards gas led to a 19% drop in coal demand in Mexico, and emissions dropped by 4%.

Energy and Emission -Fuel Delivery

Global Oil demand has risen by 1.5 million barrels a day (MB/d) since 2016. Since the price of oil dropped in 2014 there has been a trend of strong growth. The rate of growth in 2017 was 1.6% was much higher than the average annual growth rate of 1% seen over the past decade.

The IEA report contains more information on emission and alternative energy statistics. You can find the full report here. We hope you have found something valuable in our summary of the IEA report. If you would like to see more content that pertains to energy, oil, and our industry then consider subscribing to the SC Fuels blog.

 

Sincerely,

-The SC Fuels Team.

Store your lubes like a pro!

Lubricants- Lubricant delivery

 

Maintaining the quality of your oils, greases, and other lubricants is important to the longevity of your vehicle or machine. Contaminates, Gelation and exposure will ruin any store of lubricants, so are you doing all you can to combat them? The tendency of oil to gel at specific temperatures and with certain contaminants isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, this property has been used in cleaning up spilled oil, particularly oils spilled in large bodies of water. The Environmental Protection Agency employs “gelling agents” to form gels in spilled oil while not reacting with the water. These agents are blended into the oil slick through mechanical agitation or through the action of the waves in the body of water. Once the oil gels, the agents can then be easily removed by skimming or any other form of separation.

Gelation of oil comes from links between macromolecular chains that result in the formation of branched polymer structures with a solubility that depends on the chemical nature of the starting materials. As more and more of these chains form, the solubility of the compound decreases. This is the process of gelation the slow accumulation of molecular chains that make oil insoluble. Several mechanisms are involved in the acceleration of the gelation process.  One being temperature and the other being contaminates. Here are some storage and handling tips from the industry professionals to keep your lubes in prime condition.

Lubricants- Lubricant delivery

According to a Mobil technical article “Drums, pails, and cans of lubricants from virtually all suppliers are leak proof and clearly labeled with a brand name and type of lubricant inside. Careless handling, however, can cause leaks, contamination of the contents, and smudge, tear, or otherwise damage the labels. The 55-gallon drum is the most common lubricant container used by industry. Care is the key to safe drum handling. A full drum weighs about 450 lbs and, if handled carelessly, can injure workers or damage plant property. Do not unload drums by dropping them from the delivery truck or freight car to the ground or unloading dock. The drum’s seams can be punctured or burst, resulting in a hazardous spill situation.”

Greases are oil that has been thickened. Greases were created because liquid based lubricants do not remain at the point of application. Grease has a tendency to bleed while in storage. The ammount of bleed increases with time and, generally, with temperature. Up to a 5 percent bleed rate is considered acceptable. Contaminants can deteriorate grease performance. If containers are not tightly sealed, contaminants may enter the stored product. So how do you go about protecting and storing them? Like most materials, lubricating grease gradually will deteriorate with time. The rate and degree of deterioration depends on the storage and handling conditions to which the grease is exposed.

Lubricants- Lubricant delivery

According to Machinery Lubrication magazine “Always store grease in its original packaging and keep the container closed until it is time for it to be used. Wipe the lid or cover of the container before opening and always use clean tools and dispensing equipment when handling or pumping the grease. After use, the container should be closed immediately and kept closed. Before placing the lid back onto the container, wipe off any dust, dirt or excess grease that may have accumulated.”

What changes or steps will you take to ensure your lubes are safely stored? let us know in the comments below, and consider subscribing for more information on the ever-changing world of the fuel industry

 

Sincerely,

-The SC Fuels Team

Biodiesel the alternative fuel of the future?

Alternative fuels - biodiesel service California

What is Biodiesel? Is it sustainable? And is it cost efficient? These are all very common questions fleet managers, and company owners should be asking when considering the use of biodiesel for their trucks. Renewable and alternative fuel are all the rage these days. Lowering our carbon footprint, and contributing to the longevity of the earth is definitely a great and righteous deed, however the real pursuit of alternative fuels for businesses is to combat the ever-rising prices of fuel and oil. Today we will look into biodiesel and biofuels. We will find out how they are created, their functionality, their accessibility, and help you decide whether biodiesel is the alternative fuel source that your company could best utilize.

Biodiesel is an alternative fuel that is similar in structure and use to standard diesel. Biodiesel is created from animal fat, or vegetable oil through a process called transesterification to separate the glycerin from the base compound. Transesterification leaves behind 2 products, Methyl Esters (which is the chemical name for biodiesel) and glycerin which is a valuable substance, but is not used in the production of fuel. Biofuel is completely non-toxic and 100% biodegradable. Typically, biodiesel produces 60% less net carbon output than standard diesel. The stigma with biodiesel is that it does not carry the same power or fuel efficiency as standard diesel, but studies have shown that the efficiency loss for using biofuel is less than 5%!

 

  Diesel Cooking oil B100 B5
EMISSIONS
Unburned hydrocarbons, ppm 3 14 9 3
Carbon monoxide, % 0 0.01 0 0
NOx, ppm 237 214 248 240
Particulates (opacity %) 2.9 1.6 1.1 2.4
FUEL ECONOMY
City, mpg 20.1 20.8 22.3 22.6
Highway, mpg 44.9 42.1 44.2 48.5
ACCELERATION
0-30 mph, sec. 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5
0-60 mph, sec. 15 14.9 14.5 14.2
1/4-mile, mph 69.9 70.3 71.3 72.2

Table and data are taken from consumerreports.org

While still in its infancy stages, biodiesel is growing to become one of the top alternative fuel options available today. Finding the best alternative fuel source has become the new search for El Dorado, and as such Europe seems to have doubled down on biofuel. Biodiesel is used by millions of car owners in Europe, particularly in Germany. With a market share of nearly 3% of the German diesel fuel market, biodiesel has become the number one alternative fuel – and its use will certainly continue to grow.

Alternative fuels - biodiesel service California

 

The process of creating these alternative fuels is through a chemical reaction that involves the following

Vegetable Oil + alcohol → biodiesel + Glycerin (Glycerol)

We spoke about it briefly in our opening, but the process of converting vegetable oils into biodiesel is called “Transesterification”. This process is a simple process of combining a chemical compound called an “ester” and an alcohol in order to make another ester, and another alcohol. The vegetable oil used in the process can be substituted with animal fats or any organic compound that are rich in Triglycerides, as they for the reactive base of biodiesel

Did you learn anything useful about alternate fuel or biodiesel? If you would like to learn more about other alternative fuel, the fuel industry, or general topics, then considers subscribing for new content! Or learn more about us at www.scfuels.com

 

Sincerely

-The SC Fuels Team

Tank Monitoring Systems and You.

What are some of the things that you do to make your everyday life easier? Do you set an alarm to wake you up at an early time? Do you have notifications turned on for an app that you use frequently? Do you have a bill set to automatically pay each month, rather than manually paying it? These are all things we do to simplify our modern day human experience. When keeping your workplace running efficiently, having a tool to simplify a task or responsibility is paramount to the success of your project. Fuel Management systems are a tool used help manage the cost, use, and volume of fuel at a workplace.

With the installation of a Fuel Management system, automatic updates and notifications will be uploaded and sent to you and your fuel supplier to ensure that you have fuel when you need, no matter the time. Many companies have not yet made the move to install these devices and service. A good inventory management strategy improves the accuracy of inventory orders, this helps alleviate the stress of inventory management on fleet managers and business owners when making informed purchasing decisions on fuel, ensuring that you are not over, or under spending on your fuel stock.

inventory management systems, tank monitoring system

A good Inventory Management strategy increases efficiency and productivity. The software provided with fuel monitoring systems are created to decrease the amount of time spent on your logistics. Tank management systems can cut down the time you spend on inventory by up to 1/3 by making information very easy to find, and prevent “overfilling” and “Run-outs” all together.

Some of the benefits to installing fuel tank monitoring systems are:

  • Reduced Operating Costs (Hard & Soft Costs)
  • Inventory Management & Fuel Transaction Tracking Services
  • Customized reports (usage, inventory, leak alarm, etc)
  • Prevent “Run Outs” and “Over Fills” – Low inventory alerts
  • Alarm histories/polling reports – Track the course of action to be taken
  • Optimized Fuel purchases – Buying at the right time!
  • Coordination with third party environmental compliance providers & regulators

 

Are you using Fuel tank monitoring systems? Are they working out for you? Let us know in the comments below what your experience has been. If you are interested in knowing more about what fuel tank monitoring systems SC Fuels has available let us know at www.scfuels.com/home/contact/

 

 

Sincerely,

 

-The SC Fuels Team.

 

Could 2018 be the best year ever for equipment sales? Wells Fargo Thinks so.

Construction Market - Fuel delivery - Fleet Cards

According to a new construction industry report and forecast published by Wells Fargo’s National Sales manager John Crum, 2018 is looking to become one of, if not the best year for construction equipment sales in United States history! The Optimism Quotient (OQ) is a survey used to benchmark contractor and equipment distributor sentiment on local nonresidential construction activity. This year (2018) has scored 133 a 10-point increase over 2017. Both residential and non-residential construction industry activity have shown an increase in optimism stemming from a high level of approval of the current tax reform.

construction industry- Fleet Cards - Diesel Fuel

An OQ score of 100 or more represents a very strong optimism for increased local construction activity relative to the level of activity in the prior calendar year. A score of 75 to 99 represents a more cautious outlook for the industry and below 75 signals a belief that the industry will decrease. According to Crum “This is the highest optimism we have recorded in the last 20 years so that in and of itself is really good news” The information provided by these reports is often used by equipment retailers to assess the health of the market and forecast potential sales.

construction industry- Fleet Cards - Diesel Fuel

This is the highest optimism we have recorded in the last 20 years so that in and of itself is really good news”

construction industry- Fleet Cards - Diesel Fuel

2017 was a very good year for construction equipment sales, and according to the construction industry outlook, it appears that 2018 will see further improvements and sales. The belief is that more than 76% of equipment distributors will see an increase in sales. Another effect this outlook has on the construction industry is that distributors expect a 55% percent increase in their rental fleets while only 7% said they will decrease their size, leading to more equipment sales and a general increase in market contribution.

While the data recorded above points to a very positive outlook for the Construction industry, finding and paying skilled labor remains the highest concern that may have a potential impact on net profits. For contractors, employee wages and other benefits (31%) and healthcare costs (18%) were the top of cost concerns. Distributors concerns over equipment costs (20%) and equipment rental costs (20%) remained the highest ranked. 50% of respondents said they were aware of pending changes to the accounting rules for leasing. Of the respondents that were aware 50% believe that these changes will greatly impact net profits, while 20% feel that there will be no impact at all.

 

“While the data recorded above points to a very positive outlook for the Construction industry, finding and paying skilled labor remains the highest concern that may have a potential impact on net profits.”

 

With the expected increase in equipment sales oil and lubricant suppliers have also taken precaution, increasing their stores while the cost of raw materials continues to rise. While not measured in the OQ report, the cost of fuel is always a factor in the estimation of net profit. Suppliers should anticipate a higher demand in energy and lubricant products to meet the growth in sales in the construction industry.

construction industry- Fleet Cards - Diesel Fuel

Will this projected growth in equipment and construction affect your company or you? What are your expectations from this forecast? Let us know below in the comments and consider subscribing for more news and information on construction, and many other industries.

 

Thank you

The SC Fuels Team

Beware of this commonly used hacker trick!

Fleet cards - Gas Cards

How often do you find yourself using your debit card, your credit card, or any other form of plastic currency? Credit card companies are constantly renewing and improving their encryptions and safety measures in order to maintain your information’s safety; however, the less savory folk in our society are always developing new insidious ways to work around the safeguard in place by card providers. In today’s modern society there always seems to be a new threat to your privacy and security at every turn, today we will explore one of these threats; card skimming.

Fuel Cards - Gas Cards - Fleet Cards

Card skimmers are tools used by thieves to steal your credit card information by placing a very hard to detect piece of material (usually plastic) over a card port where you would pay for a transaction, the tool would then record your information without you ever knowing that it happened. This is a common tool used for stealing credit card, debit card, fleet card, and other card information. Protecting your information from these thieves is vital, but difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Here are some clues to look out for when using your fleet card or credit card.

When using a card reader at any location be wary of the slider, be sure that it is not loose or flimsy as all of these machines are built very sturdy and should not come apart easily. The magnetic card strip readers are usually placed inside of plastic devices that are made to look just like card readers on ATM machines or gas station card readers. These devices are usually used with tiny cameras nearby to record your pin number. Usually, covering the number pad with one hand while using the other to enter your PIN is enough to ensure your PIN’s safety, however, if you feel anything is out of place on the machine it is best to just leave that station entirely.

Gas Cards - Fuels Cards

Criminals like to target low hanging, easy fruit. The highest rate of card skimming theft is from non-bank ATM machines that are located in hard to see obscure spots or gas pumps that are furthest away from the service centers view. Avoid when possible any of these machines, but if that is not an option then a quick inspection of the machine’s card reader and keypad for any abnormalities or flaws. If you find any of these things to be out of place, letting the service station or business owner know who should then contact the local authorities. For a very in-depth picture gallery showing what card skimmer devices look like check out  Krebson security’s gallery Here.

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Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our ever-changing industry! If you found any of this information useful or interesting, then please consider subscribing below, or follow us on any of our social medias!

Thank you!

The SC Fuels Team

 

Is The Cold Stealing Your Fuel?

Diesel Fuel- Bulk Fuel

It’s cold outside! Winter is in full swing and spring is not looking to warm up. A remarkable phenomenon occurs when the temperature drops in liquids. Fluids condense and shrink in volume when the temperature is cold. Interestingly, the volume of fuel and gas drops as well, the same is true for the opposite. What does that mean for the average person filling their car, or an operator ordering bulk fuel? Well cozy up and let’s explore the adverse and strange effects of temperature on fuel.

Because diesel and gasoline are fluids, they become much denser when it is cold. We purchase fuel on a volume metric so this affects the amount of fuel you purchase when it is cold vs when it is hot. We promise there is science to this! The severity of change is measured by a coefficient of thermal expansion or β for short. A thermal expansion coefficient measures the change in volume (as a ratio) based on a change in temperature. Usually, units of this measurement are 10-6/K (how many millionths of the original volume does a liquid change with a change of one Kelvin). Let’s take a look at some cold hard numbers.

Fluid β (10-6/K)
Ethyl Alcohol 1,120
Gasoline (petroleum and diesel) 950
Jet Fuel 990
Mercury 181
Water 207

(all above measure at 20°C)

 

Looking at the numbers above you can see that fuel and alcohol have the most change with temperature remember that these are tiny measures that when added together and compared show that there is about a 1% change in volume of gasoline for every 19°F change in temperature. Using this in easy to understand metrics, let us assume that a shipping company requires 1,000 gallons of fuel delivered when the temperature is about 60°. Early the next morning when that shipping company begins fueling their equipment at 40° they will only actually pump 990 gallons! A loss of 10 gallons of fuel adds up in the industry world. This is also theoretically true when you are pumping gas. When you pump gas in the cold you technically pump a volume that will expand with heat i.e your car’s internal temperature thus netting you a gain in volume and value

Fuel Delivery - Bulk fuel - bulk fuel delivery

Now before you go and fill oil barrels to sell for a profit in warmer climates, understand that this is not the case in practice. At least for fueling stations, fuel is stored in highly thermo-regulated tanks that monitor and adjust the temperature of fuel keeping it at a cool comfortable 60°, meaning that you will almost always pump fuel at its natural resting state. However, ordering fuel delivery could prove to have the temperature play a part on your deliverables. Almost all fuel delivery trucks are temperature controlled to ensure that you are receiving the fuel you pay for, however where that fuel is utilized is another story! Storing fuel in the cold could produce a lower volume of fuel than what was delivered and may eat into costs of operations.

Take these natural occurrences into account when deciding where you will be storing your fuel on a worksite to maintain lower fuel costs in your industry.

We hope you enjoyed this information and found it useful. Please consider subscribing to our blog, or checking out our social media for more helpful tips and information in our ever-changing industry

Thank you,

The SC Fuels Team

5 Diesel fuel facts you should know!

Diesel Fuel - Lubricants - Bulk Fuel

Diesel fuel is an interesting compound that acts very differently from gasoline outside of its difference in combustion within a chamber. Its properties have very interesting effects and applications that many do not know. Today we will explore 5 interesting facts that everyone should know about diesel fuel.

1. Diesel fuel has a very low flammability level.

Due to a much higher flash point and resistance to pressure; igniting diesel, both within the confines of a combustion chamber, and outside in standard air pressure requires more combustive power and heat. In fact, you could toss a lit match into a bucket of diesel fuel and it would be doused rather than ignite. Petroleum gasoline has a lower viscosity meaning when it travels through a fuel injector and into the spark chamber it has already become vaporous and ignites as fumes. Diesel, on the other hand, maintains a liquid structure and travels into the spark chamber as drops that each need to be ignited individually.

2. Diesel engines are now held to the same EPA standards as gasoline engines

The United States Environmental Protection Agency now requires all diesel engines meet the same pollution standards as typical gasoline engines. Beginning in 2007, car production companies added a new device called a diesel particulate filter that functions to remove the visible smoke from the exhaust making; making diesel just as clean as any standard gasoline vehicle.

3. Diesel fuel was actually created from trial and error by Rudolf Diesel

Diesel Fuel - Bulk Fuel - Lubricants

Rudolf was trying to create a fuel that could be used in the engine that he also created and named after himself. During his testing, Rudolf tested with many different oils outside of petroleum ranging from almond and vegetable oil to peanut oil!

 

4. Diesel engines work vastly different than petroleum engines

 Basic petroleum engines work by secreting fuel vapor into a chamber that a spark plug then combusts to power the engine and produce enough kinetic energy to actually move the vehicle. Diesel engine cylinders are pre-heated and do not have spark plugs. The cylinders are then introduced to heated oxygen that the diesel then reacts to and burns. This causes the mechanical motion of the cylinders and runs the engine. Diesel engines are considered more efficient than gasoline in terms of miles per gallon.

Diesel Fuel - Lubricants - Bulk Fuel

5. Diesel offers better levels of lubricity.

Diesel oil lubrication in an engine helps reduce its overall friction, diesel lubricants are chemically engineered specifically to reduce the friction and wear on the fuel pump and fuel injectors. This has led to the need for fewer repairs and a decrease in downtime and keeps your equipment in the field or vehicles on the road!

 

Did you learn anything new? Was this interesting? Let us know in the comments below and consider following us on social media for more fuel related information and interesting articles in our ever-changing industry. Learn more about our fuel here

 

Sincerely

-The SC Fuels Team!

The Right Lubricant for the Right Job!

Lubricant- Grease- Oil - Fuel

Are you using the right motor oil on your vehicles? What about the right grease to optimize the performance of your machinery? Lubricants play an integral part in the efficiency of a piece of equipment or vehicle, but with so many different oils, greases, and lubes on the market, purchasing and utilizing the correct product for your equipment can be daunting.  Join us in exploring the different lubricants, their applications, and which ones you need to operate with the greatest efficiency!

Motor Oil

Let’s begin with the most commonly used lubricant in the workplace; motor oil. Motor oil is usually classified in one of four varieties.

Synthetic Motor Oil: Synthetic motor oil is chemically engineered so that its molecules are more uniform in shape and contain far fewer impurities and have better properties to increase its performance in extreme temperatures.

Synthetic Blend Motor Oil: is a mixture of conventional basic oil and synthetic to formulate a fluid that is resistant to oxidation

High Mileage Motor Oil: This motor oil is specially formulated for both older and newer vehicles with over 75,000 miles. It is engineered with unique additives to reduce oil burn off and prevent oil leaks which are more common in older engines.

Conventional Motor Oil: Formed in many grades, conventional motor oils are designed with simple engine designs and use in mind.

Motor oils use a system developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), to classify the oil fluids viscosity. Viscosity is a quantity expressing the magnitude of internal friction, as measured by the force per unit area resisting a flow in which parallel layers unit distance apart has a unit speed relative to one another. In other words, it is the resistance a fluid gives to tension. A low viscosity is something like water, while a higher viscosity is something more like honey.

The viscosity grade of a lube oil is determined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Oils can be separated into multigrade oils and monograde oils. Multigrade oils must fulfill two viscosity specifications, their viscosity grade consists of two numbers, e.g. 10W-40: 10W refers to the low-temperature viscosity (“Winter”), 40 refers to the high-temperature viscosity (“Summer”). Currently, most automotive engine oils are multigrade oils, while oils for restricted usage, e.g. for seasonally used engines like lawnmowers, are often monograde oils.

Armed with this information you can now make informed purchasing decisions for you or your company in regards to motor oil. If you found this information interesting please consider following us on social media for more useful guides and articles. If you are looking for motor oil for you or your company check our performance 500 line of lubricants here!

 

Sincerely

-The SC Fuels team

Welcome!

SC Fuels is the oldest oil and fuel distributor in California. Founded in 1930 our family run company has provided quality and economically priced fuel to the Mid-Western United States. Our promise has been to keep your business needs in mind when providing and building your fuel plan. We provide high-quality diesel fuel, industrial and machine grade lubricants and chemicals, fleet card programs and unbranded bulk fuel delivery for companies with large fuel utilization.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the great industry we are a part of. We strive to educate and provide valuable content that will enhance your understanding of the petroleum industry as well as provide tips and tricks to enhance your utilization of fuel based products and other successful strategies the market has produced.

Subscribe and learn more about the fuel industry or any segment that is affected by the petroleum market.

Sincerely,

The SC Fuels Family