Airport Business

DEC 2017 - JAN 2018

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FUELING 32 airportbusiness December 2017/January 2018 By Walter P. Chartrand To reclaim or not to reclaim… Should I be reclaiming this fuel, and if I did reclaim it, can I use it? An aviation fuel recovery unit can be an essential tool to minimize waste fuel. As experts training for ground support operations, we often receive questions from our customers about recovery of fuel that is removed (sumped) during regular fuel maintenance procedures. Many times the focus of these questions is on safety in regard to fuel quality control. In documents such as the FAA Advisory Circular AC-20-125 (dating back to 1985) it specifically states, "Fuel handling personnel should have procedures to assure that clean and dry fuel is being delivered to the storage system. Daily, weekly, monthly and other calendar time checks should be made on a continuing basis to assure that the fuel in fixed storage and dispensing units and systems is free of water prior to delivery to an aircraft. Personnel dis- pensing fuel should be recurrently trained in fuel handling to assure that only clean and dry fuel is dispensed." So it is obvious and nothing new that fuel deliver samples, tank drains, filter sumps (under pressure) must be performed. That being the case, what do we do with that fuel? Have you ever stopped to calculate how much fuel annually is removed from sampling, tank drains and filter sumps? When we consider the money value it begs the question "Can we reuse the sumped fuel?" There is an answer to the question, one that makes good sense both from the perspective of quality con- trol and financial consideration. Aviation fuel recovery units allow fuel contaminated with water and sediment to enter through a tangential nozzle that swirls the mixture and sediment to separate it from clean fuel. It works on the principal that fuel and water are immiscible and of a different density. Once the water and sediment are drawn off, clean fuel can be pumped back to storage. We have heard that operators desiring to be resourceful and not wasteful use this sumped fuel in various ground support equipment and airport maintenance vehicles. Although this action is with good intent, there are two government agencies that will not appreciate this practice; one is the EPA and the other the IRS. When aviation fuels are used in engines other than those designed specifically for avi- ation applications, the exposure exists for a potentially adverse environmental effect with potentially severe consequences. Aviation fuels are taxed differently than over-the-road fuels, resulting in possible unexpected tax implica- tions. The main reason for not using aviation fuels in ground equipment is cost. Aviation fuels are clearly much more expensive than automotive fuels. Let's get back to our sump samples. Cost may be the most significant driver in consider- ation of a fuel recovery system; situations exist where fueling agents are actually paying an organization to physically remove their sump samples as hazardous waste. This practice is not only expensive but may have poten- tial exposure to place your organization in a position of liability should the waste fuel be disposed of improperly. When analyzing the cost of a fuel recovery system, one must take into consideration the savings. Simply the total number of gallons sumped each day during required daily fuel maintenance procedures, then multiple that number by the present cost per gallon of fuel. In many cases, a fuel recovery system pays for itself in less than six months while preserving our environment. F or all those who are sumping fuel regularly, at some point you may have asked yourself, should I be reclaiming this fuel, and if I did reclaim it, can I use it? A fuel reclamation unit. Bravo Zulu Fueling Systems, Inc.

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