Over 500 refineries around the world convert crude oil into fuels that we use every day in our automobiles, trucks, and construction equipment. Unfortunately, contamination is a possibility with these fuels. Asphaltenes are one of the pollutants that heavy machinery and trucks operators are starting to notice. When diesel fuel is heated under high pressure as it goes through today’s high-pressure fuel injection systems, asphaltenes develop. These systems run at a pressure of around 30,000 PSI (pounds per square inch), which is nearly six times that of traditional fuel injection systems. The sudden increase in pressure, combined with temperatures that can easily approach 200 degrees, cooks the fuel and produces asphaltenes, which are microscopic tar particles measuring 2 microns in size. These asphaltenes render the fuel a dark brown hue and can clog your fuel filters if they congregate. They can also make up a large portion of the dark sludge found in many petroleum storage tanks.
How do you stop algae in diesel fuel?
Algae growth in diesel fuel tanks is a risk that all diesel users should be aware of. A few basic efforts may be taken to solve and prevent this rising problem.
Diesel algae can be avoided by keeping the water level in the tank at a constant level. Water buildup in diesel fuel can be controlled with the use of a water controller. Drain excess water and treat the fuel with a regulated biocide if algae begins to form in the fuel tank.
What will dissolve diesel sludge?
Technol 246 from Dieselcraft is a fuel additive that penetrates and dissolves diesel sludge buildups in diesel fuel tanks to eliminate filter blockage issues.
Diesel sludge, also known as tank contamination, is an algae-like substance in which cells attach to one another on the tank surface or at the fuel water interface. When a vehicle is fueled, the sludge settles to the bottom of the tank and can clog filters.
A shell of extracellular polymeric substance surrounds these biological structures, protecting the bacteria from biocides and most other chemicals. Technol 246 disperses the sludge into smaller particles that flow through filters and nozzles without clogging or causing damage.
According to Dieselcraft, the cleaned-up fuel will emit less NOx, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter. Poor combustion produces black smoke, which is removed, preventing further biological growth and increasing fuel economy.
According to Dieselcraft, normal treatment costs are around 2 cents per gallon of fuel.
8 ounce bottles, 1 gallon, 5 gallon, and 55 gallon containers of Technol 246 are available. A self-contained tip and measuring bottle are included in the 1 gallon container. 8 ounces of Technol 246 will treat up to 275 gallons of gasoline, and 1 gallon of additive will treat up to 4,000 gallons of fuel, according to Dieselcraft.
What causes bacteria to grow in diesel?
In recent years, on-farm fuel storage has evolved significantly. Tanks have been designed to be safer and more efficient, but adequate maintenance is still required to protect the petroleum inside.
While rare, microbial contamination of diesel fuel can pose a number of problems, including:
Microbial growth is caused by bacteria and fungi. When there is water in the storage tank and the temperature of the diesel fuel is between 10 and 40 degrees Celsius, microbial growth occurs. Bacterial and fungal spores can enter the fuel tank through storage tank vents or contamination during filling. At the fuel-water interface near the bottom of the tank, condensation of water vapour creates the ideal circumstances for microbial growth.
The microbial growth and biomass production produce a black slime with an algae-like look, which some have compared to chocolate mousse. Sludge accumulates at the bottom of the storage tank under extreme conditions.
Limiting the amount of water in the storage tank is the simplest technique to prevent microbial growth. Check the bottoms of the tanks for water once a month at first, then less frequently if no water is discovered. Water levels in tanks should be monitored at least twice a year.
Drain water from the bottom of the fuel tank on a regular basis using mechanical means or drain plugs at the bottom of the tank. Leakage into subterranean storage tanks should be avoided as well.
Filters should be installed in gasoline tank vents to prevent bacterial and fungus spores from entering the tank. Tank cleaning, maintenance, and inspection should all be scheduled on a regular basis. Microbial development can be controlled or delayed with the use of an approved fuel preservative. The frequency with which fuel is treated will be determined by how quickly microbial growth develops.
Manually draining or chemically cleaning the tank will eliminate bacteria growth. In conjunction with high-pressure cleaning, a biocide may be required.
Consider the compatibility of the fuel and additional additives, environmental concerns, and potential effects on equipment fueling systems before choosing a chemical treatment.
Slime or sludge will not be transported to farm equipment thanks to fuel filters in the storage tank and transfer tanks. To avoid sucking up microbial growth or water, fuel transfer pipe should pull fuel from the middle part of the tank.
If you suspect microbial development in your on-farm diesel fuel storage tanks, contact your local Co-op Fuel Team to learn how to submit fuel samples for testing and what choices you have for remediation.
In the event of microbial growth, there are a number of strategies that can be used to clean up the contamination.
In older fuels, there is usually a distinct separation between the gasoline and the tank bottom water. Your service technician can easily place a suction tube into the tank’s bottom and remove the water. Pumping water from the tank through all possible access points is recommended. If the pump or suction is located at the tank’s lower end, the pump should be removed to allow for water pumping at that location. Flexible suction tubes are used by some specialty service contractors to remove water and loose impurities from the whole length of the tank bottom. Always take precautions to ensure that the tank bottom waste is appropriately disposed of.
Methods for eliminating water and impurities from gasoline without removing it from the tank are known as fuel filtering and polishing. To visually find and observe the contamination removal progress, some providers employ fibre-optic technology or remote video cameras. Others filter the water and impurities out of the fuel using a variety of fuel circulation processes.
Several suppliers provide services to clean a tank without requiring physical access. Typically, these approaches necessitate the removal of fuel from the tank and the lowering of equipment into the tank to pressure wash it remotely. Some manufacturers use a remote video camera to monitor the progress of the washing procedure. These methods necessitate careful disposal of contaminated wash liquids and solids.
If the number or severity of the tank contaminants is assessed to be excessive, manned entry cleaning may be required to adequately clean the tank. Manned entry allows the entrant to brush impurities off the tank wall physically. Commercial fuel marketers are the only ones who utilize physical tank cleaning.
Replacement may be more practicable than cleaning for small tanks (less than 1,000 litres) with significant fouling. This is for circumstances where there is a lot of slime buildup.
What are the symptoms of algae in diesel fuel?
In the last 7-8 years, the number of occurrences of petroleum storage tanks contaminated with “algae” has increased dramatically across the country. We put that in quotes because we know it’s not truly “algae,” but rather mold, fungus, and bacteria that are responsible for the fuel. We call it algae because that’s what people assume it is (it’s not, because algae is a small plant creature that requires light to thrive, and gasoline tanks are too dark to provide that light), but we go with it. Whatever you call it, whether it’s algae, bacteria, or fungus, the problems remain the same.
Problems? That is the topic of discussion today. How to tell if you have an algae issue in your gasoline tank.
There’s a mountain of research and data that explains what causes diesel fuel algae to contaminate a tank. Due to the lack of sulfur in the gasoline (which prevents it from growing), any free water in the tank becomes a breeding ground for this fuel “algae.” But how do you determine if you have an issue with diesel fuel algae? Take a look at these red flags that could indicate a problem.
1. You insert the petrol tank in the ground and look for any substantial depth of water. Microbes and diesel fuel algae can grow and thrive in as little as a quarter-inch layer of water at the bottom of the container. Remember that a quarter inch can represent tens of gallons of water in a storage tank, depending on the size of the tank.
2. You go through filters more quickly than usual. Because the microbial bodies as well as the black, slimy biomass matrix that they make throughout the course of their lifespan get captured, diesel fuel algae clogs filters like crazy (s). Filters are also clogged when microbial activity causes the gasoline to lose its storage quality and degrade at a faster rate. The asphaltenes and heavy end fuel components that have stratified and come out of solution then cause filter blocking. Any unusually high incidence of filter plugging is a sign that the tank needs to be checked for microorganisms.
3. You perform a microorganism test, which results in a positive result. Microbe test culture strips can be purchased for around $10 apiece. The test takes 3-4 days to create and will provide you with a qualitative (yes/no) rather than quantitative (yes and how much) response to your question.
4. The pH of your gasoline is lower than it should be. Algae in diesel fuel create acids, which gradually shift the pH of the fuel towards an acidic state. Because a pH of 7.0 is neutral, adding acid to the fuel will lower the pH. A fuel pH of less than 5.8 indicates a major problem in the tank and is strong evidence of a microbial problem. Of course, you’ll need a pH meter to figure this out, but if you have one, it’s another piece of data you may gather to see if you have a diesel fuel algae problem.
After you’ve confirmed that, you can move on to the next step in resolving the issue.
What color is algae in diesel fuel?
How is it possible for something to grow in diesel fuel? Technically, it doesn’t grow in the fuel; rather, it grows at the water-diesel fuel interface. Water is the only thing it needs to survive. Condensation can cause water to develop in your gasoline tank. It can prematurely clog your filters if it gets bad enough. This problem is particularly common in older diesels that have been idle for long periods of time. Small black specks in your transparent pre-filters will be the first sign. You’ll have to look inside your fuel tank to see how bad it is. The best way to do this is to remove the gasoline sending unit. If your tank is completely black, as shown in this image, you most likely have algae growth.
How do you remove sludge from a diesel engine?
This is the second installment in a two-part Engine Sludge series. Don’t forget to read the first post, How to Check for Engine Sludge.
Perhaps you haven’t changed your oil in a long time.
If you fear you’ve acquired engine sludge, don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world for your car.
However, it is a clear indication that something has to be done.
And you can take efforts to get rid of part or all of this hazardous engine gunk.
The expense of doing nothing can often be the purchase of a completely new engine.
Use An Engine Flush
Using a chemical engine sludge remover is the simplest method here. Although some sources are critical of them, they are the simplest approach to remove engine sludge. They’re usually mixed in with the old oil, then the engine is left idle for 5-10 minutes without being driven. This allows the chemical solution to solvate the sludge and suck as much of it back into the oil as feasible. Then you change the oil, which removes the engine gunk as well as the old oil. Make sure you follow the application instructions for whatever you’re working with.
Trust Your Mechanic For Big Jobs
If your diagnostic tests indicate that you have a lot of engine sludge, a sludge extractor isn’t always the best option. This is the moment to take your car to a reputable technician. They’ll be taught how to remove sludge from crucial sites before it becomes a disaster. This will most likely include dismantling the engine and mechanically removing the muck. It won’t be as inexpensive as a bottle of Engine Flush, but it will be a lot less expensive than replacing the entire engine if nothing is done.
Make A Fresh Start
After you’ve gone to the trouble of accomplishing all of this, you’ll be able to start over with your driving and car maintenance.
Keep in mind that both stop-and-go driving and frequent short journeys are major contributors to engine sludge buildup.
Consider how many short journeys you take and whether they are all actually necessary.
It’s also a good time to turn over a new leaf and make sure you replace your oil according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
What if you don’t have one of those? They’re easy to obtain online, and you can get one for $10-15. It will be a wise investment.
Which is the best diesel fuel additive?
The best additive in the game is Diesel Extreme. This one raises the cetane rating of diesel by seven points (improving the fuel’s combustion performance once again), as well as cleaning and lubricating injectors and other essential fuel system components. Diesel Extreme also aids in the removal of impurities and excess water from fuel.
How do you treat oil tank sludge?
The presence of sediment in your oil tank is almost unavoidable. Most homes should clean their oil tanks every three years, however some may be able to go longer. Those who routinely refuel their tanks must clean their tanks more frequently. If your vent cap has recently become loose, allowing insects, air, or moisture into your tank, you should clean it as soon as possible. Based on your regular usage, your expert can give you a more detailed cleaning schedule.
Prepare to get messy if you want to remove sludge from the oil tank yourself rather than hiring a professional. Gloves and an attire that you don’t mind getting oil on are recommended. To begin cleaning, you’ll need the following items:
Drain the Oil Tank
To begin, drain all of the oil from the tank and dislodge the sludge. Place one of the disposable containers beneath the drain valve, open the cap, and wait for the oil to drain completely. To avoid spilling the containers, close the lid and carefully move them out of the way.
Place another container under the valve as a nest. Spray clean water into the tank with your hose. Continue to spray until the water dripping from the valve is clear. Replace the valve cap and move the second container out of the way.
Scrub the Excess Sludge
Once all of the water has been drained, wipe down the drain with your cleaning cloths to remove any stubborn filth or sludge.
Use the cloths to lightly clean the outside of the oil tank while you’re at it. While the outside of the tank does not contribute to sediment buildup, any leaves or caked-on dirt or grime should be removed. If there is rust on the outside, clean it up and paint it with rustproof paint.
You may now delegate all of the heavy lifting to your cleaner. Trisodium phosphate is commonly used to clean oil tanks because it is harsh on grease, filth, and soot, making it ideal for heavy-duty cleaning. TSP is a dry, white powder that needs to be mixed with water.
How do you prevent bacterial growth in diesel fuel?
The best strategy to avoid microbial growth in diesel fuel is to reduce its exposure to water. This can be accomplished through a variety of methods, including the recycling of fuel through water separations and the routine discharge of water bottoms where bacteria thrive. It’s also possible to employ gasoline tank insulation, which is a method of regulating fuel temperature.
If sludge has already formed, it should be removed as soon as possible and on a regular basis to prevent it from spreading. It’s also a good idea to schedule frequent tank inspections, cleaning, and treatments. When it comes to treatment, the EPA recommends using prophylactic doses of diesel fuel biocides. These compounds have the ability to extend the period between tank cleanings.
What causes diesel contamination?
Microbes are the most common contaminants found in diesel fuel. Long-term storage of diesel fuel, particularly ultra-low sulfur diesel and diesel fuel containing a tiny percentage of biodiesel, renders it more susceptible to contamination by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungus.