Global professional body for the energy sector The Energy Institute (EI) has added its voice to the international warnings concerning contamination of jet fuel with diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).
The institute issued a report detailing the dangers of cross-contamination and offering guidance on avoiding any mixing of similar looking substances.
The report, titled “EI 1538: Handling of Fuel System Icing Inhibitor and Aviation Fuel Containing Fuel System Icing Inhibitor at Airports, 1st Edition,” follows a safety alert issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) aimed at educating aircraft users on the potential risks of fuel mix-ups.
“We’re grateful for the Energy Institute’s support to educate and inform FBOs, aircraft fuelers, operators and other stakeholders about the dangers of DEF contamination,” said NBAA senior manager of safety and flight operations Mark Larsen.
“We’re continuing our efforts to identify ways to limit the need for DEF in airport equipment to minimize the exposure to this hazard, thereby mitigating its risk.”
The industry was put on red alert following several incidents involving the contamination of fuel system icing inhibitors (FSII) with diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), causing engine failure and severe difficulty for pilots.
DEF, which has become more widespread as the fuel for airside diesel-powered vehicles, is clear and colourless and can be easily confused for FSII, forming crystalline deposits when mixed with jet fuel which can clog up engine components.
“It is essential that all personnel involved in the handling of FSII and all additives and chemicals on a site understand the consequences of any lapse in maintaining correct procedures,” said the Energy Institute report.