How might the new Tier 3 Gasoline Standard affect you?

On January 1, 2017 a new ultra low sulfur product entered the United States’ vehicle supply chain: Tier 3 gasoline. Previously Franklin Fueling Systems has addressed the impact of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) on corrosion in underground storage tanks, but will Tier 3 gasoline have the same impact?

The new Tier 3 gasoline standard provides that, with only limited exceptions for small refineries, producers must now limit the maximum annual average of sulfur in their gasoline to 10 ppm. As with ULSD, the change is part of the ongoing effort to lower vehicle emissions.

To date, no public research on Tier 3 gasoline and its effect on corrosion has been conducted or announced. However, as noted in PEI’s recent TulsaLetter newsletter, there are three factors to indicate that that Tier 3 gasoline might be less problematic than ULSD:

  1.  The reduction of sulfur in Tier 3 gasoline is from 30 ppm to 10 ppm, a much less dramatic shift than ULSD which went from 500 ppm per gallon to a mere 15 ppm.
  2. California has mandated a similar low sulfur gasoline formation, without any apparent problems, for more than 10 years.  Japan, South Korea and the EU also have followed 10 ppm sulfur standards for quite some time.
  3. The ethanol present in 97 percent of gasoline sold in the United States discourages the development of water bottoms in tanks; water being the primary breeding ground of the bacteria thought to be responsible for ULSD-related corrosion.

Despite these mitigating factors, there is no guarantee that the introduction of Tier 3 gasoline into the vehicle supply chain will be entirely without problems.

Advanced Protection STP 09-14 reversed webWhat can you do about it?

Franklin Fueling Systems designed their Advanced Protection Pump specifically to be corrosion resistant and provide a long service life. Available as a factory installed option on STPAG and IST biofuel compatible submersible turbine pumps, Advanced Protection defends submersible turbine pumps (STPs) from accelerated corrosion caused by the acetic byproduct of microbial activity. Building on the internal Alcohol-Gasoline (AG) construction for biofuel compatibility, the Advanced Protection option includes powder-coated and e-coated finishes to protect the exterior cast surfaces, as well as stainless steel fasteners, riser, coupler and variable length column pipe assembly.

Certain applications already on the market, such as ULSD and High Ethanol fuel, are more affected by microbial activity. With a proven record in these applications, the Advanced Protection Pumps are the perfect solution for a corrosion-risk environment.

For additional protection, Franklin’s Intake Filter screens (IFS) can provide an added defense against in-tank debris that can be associated with accelerated corrosion issues. The IFS prevents debris as small as a grain of sand (0.009” openings) from entering the pumping system, without reducing the output performance of the submersible. Adding just one inch to the length of the pump motor assembly, the IFS can be factory installed as our ‘K’ option or easily field retrofitted onto FE PETRO® or competitive four inch pump motor assemblies.

Read more:


  • Rick Long [PEI] TulsaLetter – The Newsletter of the Petroleum Equipment Institute  Vol. 67. No. 4 | Originally published February 17, 2017