FUEL CONTAMINATION

October 7, 2014

Fuel contamination happens more often than you think and without the right treatment you could end up with a blocked engine filter, a corroded fuel tank or excessive smoke. As with all problems prevention is better than cure, but unfortunately not all factors are in our own control. 

 

When filling up your fuel tank, the fuel from the supplier (e.g. petrol station) can already be contaminated. The most critical element to prevent contamination is the filter system you have. The quality and micron/beta values mean everything in preventing these contaminants reaching your fuel system and engine.

 

Contamination comes in many forms but the most common one's are the following:

  • WATER

  • DIESEL BUG

In fact, these two go hand in hand. When you have water in your tank it is just a matter of time before you will get Diesel bug.

 

WATER

Diesel is hydroscopic and therefore can hold a % of free water. In the combustion process, diesel ignites when the fuel comes under pressure. Water does not compress and so goes through the injector like sand paper.

 

In addition, with the fluctuation in temperature of diesel inside the fuel tank, due to daytime night-time differences and the warm return from the engine, it causes condensation to accumulate, in form of dissolved moisture.

 

As temperature goes down, the saturation level decreases and the dissolved moisture turns into free water; free water, heavier than fuel, falls out of the fuel and eventually settles on the bottom of the tank, constituting a fertile habitat for diesel bug.

 

DIESEL BUG

Microbial contamination, commonly known as diesel bug, is an amoeba which lives in the interface between water and diesel in the fuel tank. There are many different subspecies, but they all require three elements to survive - diesel, oxygen and water.

 

EFFECTS:

  • Sulphuric acid - corrodes tanks, fuel lines, pumps and the entire fuel rail system

  • Injectors are affected: this issue is even more critical for modern diesel engines, because of the higher amount of pressure they generate (common rail)

  • Blocked filters

  • Loss of power for the engine, poor fuel economy and excessive smoke

You can read more in-depth about diesel bug in this article, published by Pacific Passagemaker:

 

DIESEL BUG ARTICLE→

BIOCIDE VS. NON BIOCIDE TREATMENT

Previously, the way to get rid of Diesel Bug was to add a shock dose of Biocide. This method is very effective but it has become clear that it isn't without bad side-effects. Because biocides are intended to kill living organisms, these diesel bug treatments pose significant risk to our eco-system.

Luckely there are other ways to treat diesel bug eco-friendly. Our Fuel360 products will help you to marginalize the contamination and prevent future contamination. Instead of killing the organisms directly, Fuel360 breaks the Diesel Bug triangle by eliminating water:

 

Surface tension is one of water's most important properties. It is the reason that water collects in drops but also cannot be compressed as much as diesel. Fuel360 removes the surface tension, allowing water to 'break up' in smaller bits. This removes the living condition for diesel bug and allowing the fuel to be injected at a higher compressions (thus more power).

In that way you address both diesel bug and water at the same time!

 

Check out our products here →

 

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