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Distillate fuels are oftentimes stored in the field for many months before they are burned. If unstable they form degradation products which can harm burner performance. So the refiner has the responsibility of not only making a high-quality fuel initially, but also of imparting characteristics to the fuel that will render it stable during field storage. The methods necessary to make a heating oil which performs properly when fresh are quite well understood, and there are very few problems in this area. However, the science of rendering that oil stable is not so well established. It requires constant attention by the manufacturer.
Esso Research and Engineering Co., Linden, N. J.