Friday, January 20, 2006
posted 1/20/2006 10:07:00 PM UTC+12, McMurdo Local Time

Fuel geek stuff

Steve writes:
Prist, that's what they add to Fuel to keep it from freezing. :-) Or at least in other really cold places like FT. drum NY, and Alaska. The freezing point of the water suspended in the fuel is lowered to minus 46 degrees F when Prist additive is used. Colder than that I sure they use a variant of it

Can't say for certain that our AN8 contains Prist (that's a brand name being used as a generic term - like kleenex, pop tart, etc) but that's the stuff. We generally just call it "fizzy," a play on the acronym FSII (fuel system icing inhibitor,) which is the more general description. Much more information on FSII can be found here. Although that article mentions FSII being added at fueling, here we get it premixed into the fuel off the tanker so we don't have to deal with the stuff independently from fuel. I'm pretty sure the reason we use FSII isn't so much to keep the water in fuel from icing, but because it sucks any water that may be in solution out and sinks it to the bottom of storage tanks (where it forms a weird pink goo.) At the south pole in winter, the temperature drops below -100 Fahrenheit, so the water is going to freeze pretty much no matter what, but if it's in at the bottom part of a tank that's not a problem. Since all the fuel at south pole gets there in the tanks of LC130s, we have to fuel them only with AN8 to get AN8 at pole.


So, today was a bit crazy in the fuels department here. Due to some weirdness that happened yesterday (long story that would require a lengthly explanation of our town fuel system, but it was a practically unavoidable situation given the late tanker) it took the town crew something like 7 trys to get a transfer out to Willy started. So, rather than getting it rolling at something like 9am, they were just getting it going about 1pm. There were a bunch of ripple effects from the late transfer, but fortunately we were able to juggle people, fuel, and airplanes enough that everyone got fuel when they needed it and nobody stayed at work late. Hopefully, the ANG will stick with their plan tomorrow and things will be all back to normal by Monday. Sunday serves as a kind of reset button at the airfield, can't wait for this one!

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