Fuel Contamination Services

78% of fuel samples we test are contaminated. Can your business afford operational downtime? To learn more and book our fuel contamination service, call our expert team today on 0330 123 3399.

The Importance of Fuel Contamination Removal

If your organisation relies on diesel, fuel contamination can cause huge problems if left untreated. Even small amounts can cause engines to fail, resulting in thousands of pounds to fix. That’s why it’s important to take preventative steps to protect your fuel system, engine and ultimately your business operations. That’s where Crown Oil Environmental come in! Our fuel contamination testing service is used by businesses across a range of sectors, allowing you to detect any issues with your fuel before they become an expensive problem.

What is fuel contamination?

Fuel contamination, also known as microbial contamination of fuel, is a term used to describe water and bacterial microbes that find a home in stored diesel and other fuels. If left untreated, contaminants will grow and eventually render your fuel useless.

Types of fuel contamination

There are many different types of contaminants that can cause havoc with your stored fuel, including:

  • Particulates – dust, grit, soot, rust and engine wear particles, all which have the potential to cause wear or damage to the fuel injection system or engine
  • Bacteria – single cells, around 1-10 micron in size that degrade fuel over time
  • Water – one of the most common contaminants that causes equipment problems and is almost inevitable in stored fuels due to the number of opportunities for moisture to form
  • Sludge – due to a combination of any of the above contaminants and generally accumulates on the bottom of the tank, degrading fuel system lines

Microbial contaminated fuel symptoms

  • Cloudy appearance – there’s water in your fuel
  • Dark colour – asphaltene particles are growing, which agglomerated, can block filters
  • Varnish smell – fuel is old
  • Clogged filters – sludge build-up
  • Rusted tank – there is water in your tank

This can be an expensive problem for businesses that don’t take precautionary steps to avoid it. If you’re worried about the costly problems associated with diesel bugs in your fuel, it’s important to take steps to prevent them right away.

Microbial growth in more detail

Tiny bacterial microbes become present within fuel as a result of water contamination. Their growth accelerates as water becomes emulsified and free-flowing. If left untreated, aerobic and anaerobic bacteria begin to feed on the hydrocarbons in your fuel and nutrients from the water thrive and grow.

Untreated contaminated fuel can cause early deterioration of your storage tank, as well as damage to your fuel, machinery and engine.

Water damage in more detail

Dissolved water in oil – Just as water can be found pretty much anywhere, oil is no different when it comes to containing H2O. At the dissolved level, water molecules will be present throughout the oil, unseen like in the atmosphere, building up until it reaches a saturation point.

Emulsified water in oil – Once the saturation point is met, the water within your fuel becomes emulsified. A cloudy appearance is a tell-tale sign that the water droplets have become emulsified within your diesel.

Free water in oil – The most developed stage of fuel contamination is when the emulsified state turns into small puddles of water. Eventually, small puddles become free-flowing water within your fuel and bacterial growth is accelerated.

All of this can be expensive and unnecessary should you leave it to chance

Fuel contamination is a term used to describe the water and bacterial microbes that find a home in diesel and other fuels. If left untreated, contaminants will grow and degrade the fuel’s quality.

This can be an expensive problem for businesses that don’t take precautionary steps to avoid it. If you’re worried about the costly problems associated with diesel bugs in your fuel, it’s important to take steps to prevent them right away.

Fuel contamination FAQs

Is the treatment for fuel contamination important?

The importance of regular fuel testing and analysis cannot be ignored when it comes to microbial contamination of diesel and other fuels. It ensures that any diesel fuel contamination is found early enough to treat and at a considerably reduced cost compared to buying a replacement batch of fuel.

Damage to tanks and equipment through fuel stability issues may also add to a long list of very costly clean-up jobs! In the event of your fuel becoming contaminated by bugs, make a call to Crown Oil Environmental and we’ll advise you on what to do next.

If you’re unsure about the state of your fuel, give us a call on 0330 123 3399 and provide us with as much information as possible. We’ll let you know of our suggestions and run our analysis to identify any problems with your fuel. Once we have a report, we’ll propose our recommendations to you to help you get the most out of your fuel.

What fuels can become contaminated?

Any fuel which can be stored in a tank is susceptible to bacterial contamination. A list of common fuel types below can be treated for fuel contamination by us.

  • White diesel (road diesel and derv)
  • Red diesel (gas oil and tractor fuel)
  • Kerosene (heating oil)
  • Biodiesel (biomass and biofuel)

Fuel contamination is a term that covers a number of individual contaminants. These include hormoconis resinae (typically the main contaminant in microbial contamination), bacteria and fungi such as yeast or mould.

What causes stored fuel to become contaminated?

The presence of microbial contamination in your fuel can have many causes. Condensation, faulty infrastructure and moisture absorption from the atmosphere are some of the main culprits.

Sometimes you can do everything in your power to prevent fuel contaminants appearing and still end up with contaminated fuel.

Microbial contamination is heavily accelerated when you couple higher FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters) content with lower sulphur content. Working on a sliding scale, as you increase the bio (FAME) content and decrease the sulphur content, the problem gets worse.

It’s also worth pointing out that when water is present, bugs tend to grow at the interface between the water and the fuel. This happens as the water forms large puddles at the bottom of the tank and separates from the oil above.

Ready to learn more about our fuel contamination services? Call our expert team today on 0330 123 3399 to find out how we can help you diagnose and resolve fuel contamination issues.

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We are passionate about providing excellent service at all times and our commitment to customer care makes us the perfect choice for your environmental service requirements.

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For help and advice relating to fuel contamination and tank treatment
give our expert team a call today on 0330 123 3399

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