FUEL CONTAMINATION
Found in 9 out of 10 samples taken from data centres, fuel contamination is a widespread issue with the potential to cause significant damage to businesses reliant on fuel.

 

“It is generally recommended that the storage of Gas Oil containing FAME does not exceed six months” - ExxonMobil

 

For businesses reliant on stored fuel, it is more important than ever to be aware of the varying types of fuel contamination which can occur in gas oil, as well as how to prevent it. Our experts are on hand to advise our clients of the impact current legislation has on the quality and longevity of fuel and discover how this could impact the operation running of their business.

 

FUEL CONTAMINATION

There are many types of fuel contamination found in gas oil, it only takes one of these contaminates to negatively affect your stored fuel supply.

 

WHAT IS FUEL CONTAMINATION?

There are many varying types of fuel contamination. Contamination can either be caused by something foreign entering the tank, such as water which then develops microbial growth (AKA diesel bug), or by the fuel itself degrading and producing sludge and damaging molecules.

 

Water is the arguably the most damaging contaminate to find in your fuel tank as it causes many other contamination chain reactions. Whether it's free, emulsified or dissolved water, this type of contamination can be rapid and cause long term damage to engines.

 

With water contamination, the risk of microbial growth increases. With the right conditions, microbial growth will occur at the fuel & water interface. A large layer of sludge can form quickly and block filters. Complications with fuel stability and tank corrosion can also occur.

 

water-web
FREE WATER
Free water forms on the tank bottom, initially as small puddles which develop into large volumes of free-flowing water. This type of water contamination is the most developed and generally occurs after the fuel has reached its maximum saturation point of up to 1500 ppm
Risk: Very High
Recommendation:

Act immediately to recover fuel

emulsified-web
EMULSIFIED WATER
Emulsified water occurs when very small droplets of water are suspended in the fuel. Fuel will appear cloudy. Emulsified water can cause long term damage to engines and even prevent them from starting.
 
Risk: High
Recommendation:

Action should be taken to prevent further contamination

dissolved-web
DISSOLVED WATER
Dissolved water forms when emulsified water is dissolved using a surfactant or biofuel, turning the water molecules into microscopic particles. The water contamination will remain within the fuel, however it will be harder for microbial growth to colonise and grow.
Risk: Medium
Recommendation:

Increase fuel sampling to every three months

 

MICROBIAL GROWTH

The majority of microbial growth occurs when water is present, microbes can grow in emulsified and free water.

 

When the conditions are right microbial growth will occur at the fuel/ water interface, they feed from the hydrocarbons found in diesel and gain other nutrients from the water. A large layer of slime can form quickly and block filters. Complications with fuel stability and tank corrosion can also occur.

contamination-example-web

BACTERIA

Very resilient and are made up of single cells typically 1-10 microns in size. In the right conditions, they can multiply in 10-20 minutes. There are typically 40 million bacterial cells per millilitre of contaminated diesel..

 

 

FUNGI

The most common microbe found in fuel contamination. There are two types of fungi present in fuel; moulds and yeasts. Both are multi-cellular plant like organisms which attach to tank walls. The structure of this microbe can also block filters.

 

 

Contact the Team

To discuss your uninterrupted power requirements with a member of our team, call us on:

0800 980 6172

Request a Consultation

WP Group offer bespoke consultations tailored to your business energy requirements.

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