Diesel fuel sludging
Diesel fuel tanks are susceptible to contamination by a variety of bugs known as Hydrocarbon Utilizing Micro-organisms.
- Vehicles most at risk of contamination are those that have poorly maintained fuel systems, fuel tanks that are subject to water contamination and those that are infrequently used.
- Fuel storage facilities are susceptible to infestations too.
- They enter tanks through vents or during the transport of fuel and form thick, slimy mats that can block fuel systems and produce acids that attack components.
- They can rapidly reproduce, with some varieties able to double in number every 20 minutes under the right conditions.
- The most obvious warning sign of an infestation is persistent fuel line and filter blockage.
- Other problems can include corrosion and degradation of metal and rubber fuel system components.
- Treatment involves draining and steam cleaning of the tank and the addition of a biocide to prevent regrowth.
- The use of biocide alone is not recommended, as it can lead to ongoing fuel system blockage by dead cell material.
- Oil companies and fuel distributors can assist with the brand names of suitable biocides.
- Failure to deal with contaminated or poorly maintained fuel systems or storage facilities will lead to recurring problems
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