We receive a lot of questions regarding diesel fuel and bacteria and quality. Currently, for contamination, Midwest Laboratories offers a Fuel Fingerprint analysis, $90.00 which looks at 22 different diesel contaminants and compares the diesel sample to a matrix of different contaminants to look for the presence of these contaminants in the diesel sample. In addition, items like microbial contamination and levels of sulfur can also be examined.
I cam across a great article, Five Common myths Associated With Treating Diesel Fuel that Every Fuel Manager Should Know by Bob Tatnall, October 12, 2011
I wanted to highlight some of the information from this article and I invite you to read the entire article.
Myth 1 – Good Fuel Quality will prevent problems.
ULSD is almost always excellent quality…The problem lies in contamination during storage and transport….water combines with bacteria to make sludge and biofilms.
Myth 2- Biocides Will Sterilize the Fuel and Prevent Problems
The bacteria that form and corrosive deposits are a type known as “slime forming” bacteria…Repeated use of biocides can lead to development of resistant strains. Therefore, biocides are rarely a long-term fix.
Myth 3 – Polishing Fuel will Filter out the Solids and Bacteria and clean the Fuel System.
Fuel polishing is common in the marine industry…It is a process of circulating fuel through filters to remain particles and suspended water…The problem is most of the slime, sludge and bacteria are attached to the walls of the tanks and lines or stuck to filters.
Myth 4 – Unstable Fuel is the Problem – Use Stailizers
Fuel stability was a legitimate concern with high-sulfur fuels…Today’s ULSD is rock-solid…The exception is in certain modern extremerecycle engines that impart high pressure and heat stress on the fuel and can led to filter plugging and black, non-slimy deposits in the fuel tank.
Myth 5 – Corrosion is NOT a Problem in Diesel Systems
Corrosion associated with biofilms in ULSD Systems has become such a big problem that the petroleum industry has asked ASTM to form a task force to study cause and solutions…Some studies have shows that the issue can be prevented by using certain combinations of filming amine corrosion inhibitors.
Some great points were made in this article and we like to stay close to the issues. I would invite you to read the entire article.