The Importance of Fuel Contamination Removal
Fuel contamination, also known as microbial contamination of fuel, is a term used to describe the water and bacterial microbes that find a home in your diesel and other fuels. If left untreated, contaminants will grow and eventually render your fuel useless.
Fuel degradation can be an expensive problem for businesses who don’t take precautionary steps to avoid it.
If you suspect your fuel is contaminated, call 0330 123 3399 today to protect your business from the risk of unplanned downtime.
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
Fuel contamination removal
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 who 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 it 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 to 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
An initial test of your fuel and storage tank, followed by regular checks, will help to keep your fuel and tank clean, as well as your machinery and equipment working at its best. Don’t let fuel contamination ruin your fuel, machinery and storage tanks.
78% of fuel samples we test are contaminated. Can your business afford operational downtime? Call 0330 123 3399 to find out more about our fuel contamination services
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.
For help and advice relating to fuel contamination and tank treatment
give our friendly team a call today on 0330 123 3399