USING RED DIESEL IN A CAR IS ILLEGAL AND CARRIES HEAVY PENALTIES. IN THE EVENT THAT IT BECOMES ILLEGAL TO USE RED DIESEL IN BOATS THIS IS ALSO LIKELY TO HAVE HEAVY PENALTIES.
Originally Posted by mdt
And how do you perform this “straight forward” operation… he asks with no interest at all other than form a desire to expand ones knowledge base. Honesty
And if you where to get your, lets say for discussions sake car tank “dipped” and they found it to be clear why would they then test it for the trace chemicals??
Or is this test a east road side test ??
The red dye is an dis-azo dye called CI solvent Red 24 (in the UK). Typically there is < 10 ppm present in neat red diesel. 6 ppm of closely related yellow dye (CI solvent yellow 124 is also added throughout the EU to reduced tax fuels). Other colours are used too e.g. blue for french marine diesel.
It is difficult (and therfore expensive) to remove the dye from the fuel (without damaging the fuel as described below) - but it is possible to mask it by adding (laundering) other dyes so that the colour changes (you would presumably add some yellow and blue dyes to produce a "neutral colour) or to "dilute" it with duty paid fuel so that the colour is no longer apparent to the eye. Apparently organised criminals in northern ireland are especially good at this.
The yellow dye (124) is not visible to the naked eye at these concentrations anyway. BUT there is an extreemly simple way to detect even very low concentrations of 124 at the road side. The treasury can detect as little as 2% Red Diesel mixed with Duty Paid Diesel at the roadside. In essence the way it is detected is to add a small amount of strong acid. The acid reacts with the yellow dye, turning it red. The red version of the 124 dye is also more soluble in the aqueous (acid) phase and so adding a little acid to a lot of fuel lets the revenue concentrate up the dye and get good sensitivity. It can be performed as a visual test - but automated analysers are also available.
IN THEORY it is possible to remove this dye from fuel in the same way - by washing with acid. BUT this will result in small amounts of strong acid being mixed with the fuel. It goes with out saying that acidic fuel results in significantly enhanced corrosion inside your engine. SO this is a bad idea - and if you get offered cheap diesel you should think twice - it might not just be Gordon Brown that it costs. Disposal of the chemicals also has environmental implications. It is also likely that unless you really know what you are doing you won't get all the dye out and they'll still be able to catch you.
Although roadside dipping is uncommon for cars on the mainland - if the revenue got wind of someone doing this - I am sure they would be quick enough to act. Lorries (and agricultural machinery) are regularly dipped at road side check points and in northern ireland where dodgy fuel is rife (both with people who are knowingly using it and those who paid full price whilst the garage creamed off the difference!) it is unlikely you would manage to drive a diesel car for more than a few months without being dipped (unless you are a tipped off where they are dipping ;-) ).
I hope that helps, but I hope it also convinces you that its not a good idea...