How to Remove Red Dye From Diesel: Step by Step Guide

In general terms fuel dyes are the kinds of dyes added to fuels. In many countries, fuel dye is added in the ratio of low to dye, purposely to boost the use of diesel in several areas for higher-taxed fuels. Fuels that are not taxed are termed as dyed whereas those fuels that are taxed are termed as either white or clear.

A major example of dyed fuel is the kind of Aviation gasoline that is used for safety measures and tax reasons. Dyes exist in several categories, the soluble kind of dies also known as solvent dyes are hydrocarbon-based nonpolar solvents. The main type of this kind of dye is Red dye and its sub-category is Solvent Red 19, Solvent Red 24 as well as Solvent Red 26.

Though dies have significant handling issues and have some health and safety problems which are normally caused by using azo dyes which are a mixture of red, yellow, and green dyes they have the advantage of mixing with liquid.

Step by step guide on how to remove red dye diesel fuelhow to remove red dye from diesel

To get started, you can’t wake up and say let me remove this red dye from my diesel, but this will require you to go through several processes to turn your red diesel to pure clear. Below are discussed ways you can achieve that:

1.Fixing a red adsorption reactive azo dye into activated carbon

In a carried experiment, a bamboo waste of granulated activated carbon was added to the red diesel fuel and the difference came out to be very clear. The red-dyed diesel turned to be clear. The assumed process that took place was obtained from the Thomas Yoon-Nelson model whose coefficient is R2 =>0.93 at different conditions. Therefore based granular activated carbon (BGAC) which is carbon-based was termed as a suitable adsorbent.

2. Batching and fixing bed adsorption or tartrazine azo-dye into the activated carbon extracted from apricot stones

Tartrazine is a kind of die manufactured by the Morgan Chemical Company; the solution is used in the purification of synthetic wastewater solutions. Its precaution measure is that it must be kept tightly sealed in a bottle to avoid contamination. Other reagents that can be used include phosphoric acid (H3PO4) and Dilute Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) and Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH). Therefore adding the above solutions would cause de-colorization of the red dye from the diesel

3. Using Column

Another very good way of extracting red dye from the diesel is by using a column. This process is said to remove a very big portion of the dye from a diesel solution. From that point, you should dilute the diesel into white testing bucket levels to cheat the taxman.

4. Addition of Blue and Green Dye

According to science, if you add green and blue ink to red ink then the results will be a white solution. In our case adding blue and red dye of the same type into a jar containing a solution of red dye diesel then you will observe a clear solution; therefore we can conclude that our red dye has dissolved to give a colorless solution.

5. Using Litter

Removing red dye from your fuel diesel can be so simple if you use the litter box technique. This process can remove the dye and get you the normal diesel in as quick as just a couple of minutes.

6. Biodiesel stabilization

This is a kind of diesel produced from several oils which are also used in cooking; therefore the main contents of biodiesel stabilizers are organic matters which reduce as oxidation takes place. Through oxidation and by the better state of fuel and maintaining its better state, and they suspend the red additives hence making them almost invisible.

Red Dyed diesel in different CountriesRed Dyed diesel in different Countries

       i. The United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, red dye diesel is not allowed for on-road activities and roadside checks are carried to ensure that there is no regal use of red diesel fuel. Despite other countries in the UK red diesel is allowed to be used as long as you are registered as an off-load with DVLA provided you use it on private land.

Also, non-road applications such as boats and cranes are allowed. The major kind of red diesel found in the UK is Carbon offset.

     ii. Finland

Finnish polo oily or brannoija is the main kind of dyed diesel fuel found in Finland. It’s lowly taxed fuel and is available in many rural petrol stations. Furfural is the used dye to fuel oil in Finland in 2002 before it was replaced by Solvent yellow in 2008.

  iii. Poland

In Poland, there are currently no available naked-eye car fuels being sold. However, red fuel colors of 98 are allowed during Communist Party rule. Though not led, Diesel fuel was also used and dyed to brown.

  iv. United States Of America

Only off-load use of red-dyed diesel fuel is only mandated by the environmental protection agency. Solvent red 26 is the most used though it is often replaced by solvent red 164 which are almost similar the only difference is the alkyl chains. In the USA driving on-load using red-dyed diesel is classified as a criminal offense.

 Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can Red dyed diesel do anything bad to your regular diesel truck?

Under no circumstances that the red-dyed diesel will affect the engine of your truck, instead, it will cost you much more because the fuel isn’t taxed because it is only assigned for use on the off-road, which is to be used only by farmers to do their farming activities.

  • What is the original color of the diesel?

In most cases, the color of the diesel only depends on the country you are in, for example in the United States the color of diesel is yellow and a non-taxed diesel is red. Therefore the is no actual color for diesel

  • What is the red color in fuel oil?

From general knowledge, red is just but a color but it is a kind of dye that is used purposely to show a difference of different grades of fuel. Red dye is therefore used to show the ultra-low sulfur grade.

  • Does on-road diesel weigh more than off-road diesel?

The weight of on-road and off-road is equal but the only difference is that off-road diesel is just red because of added dye which brings no difference in matter’s weight.

  • What is the difference between fuel oil and diesel fuel?

Off-road diesel fuel oil could also be called a ‘version’ of heating oil which is used in tractors and other various off-road types of equipment,  while diesel has red dye for easy distinction from the normal diesel fuel.


Removing red dye could be very costly when you want to clean your engine and change the fuel from red-dyed to any other. To avoid this you better buy expensive fuel for your vehicle and keep it at desirable standards than having red traces in your vehicle engine. But if unknowingly you bought red-dyed diesel fuel and you want to eliminate the dye then you got easy solutions for your task.

Precautions are given in some countries such as in the USA no one is allowed to drive on-road using red-dyed diesel, if found then you will be judged. Though cheap because it’s un-taxable, you can’t use your vehicle for any other road business such as transporting loads and maybe passengers. 

Recent Posts