Fuel Conditioning

Our testing of fuel samples are amongst the most thorough available in the industry. We obtain sufficient samples whilst on-site to ensure that if a particular sample highlights an issue, further testing can be undertaken to confirm conditions and a remedial plan developed.

Diesel fuel tainted by water can reduce the performance and fuel efficiency of diesel powered engines, whether they are installed in vehicles, generators or other equipment. Water pollution can cause filter blockages and serious damage to engine components such as the injectors, pipelines, seals or gaskets. For standby generators water in fuel can reduce the effective life of its engine, increase the risk of internal corrosion and worst of all, result in equipment failure when it is needed most due to the fuel being too hydrolysed (tainted by water) to work at all.

Petroleum diesels typically hold 60ppm of suspended water. At this level, the water is almost insignificant as long as it is regularly used and replenished (and microbial contamination does not occur). Bio-diesels typically hold up to 25 times more suspended water than petroleum diesel. In recent years the worldwide introduction of bio-diesel has brought what was mainly a mariner’s fuel problem to every diesel fuel user. Bio-diesel is a perfect habitat for vigorous microbial growth, which could lead to common issues such as filter blockages. This would be another common test undertaken by our thorough testing schedule, but we don’t stop there. We will also check for acid within the water, Bacteria (some species) can excrete acids which can corrode steel tanks very quickly, so this test will also safe guard your assets. With regular testing; trending of the fuel condition can be seen, which will highlight any issues at the earliest possible opportunity so they can be dealt with quickly reducing the risk of downtime and failures which can be costly.

Debris and water drop out from the fuel

Debris and water drop out from the fuel

ATP Bacteria testing

Water contamination of diesel fuel leads to the build-up of microbes, bacteria and sometimes fungi. These Colony Forming Units (CFUs) of microorganisms feed on the fuel at water-fuel interface (where the water meets the fuel) until becoming too heavy and floating to the bottom of the tank, quickly forming bio-films and sludge.

Both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria can produce corrosive acids and sticky residues. These undesired chemicals (broken down carbon chains) can further affect engine performance by reducing the combustible properties of the fuel and shortening the life of both engines and storage tanks.  The resulting sludge and sticky residue within the diesel fuel can cause blocked filters, fuel lines and damage the precision fuel injectors that are vital to the efficient running of a diesel engine.

With regular testing; trending of the fuel condition can be seen which will highlight any issues at the earliest possible opportunity, so they can be dealt with quickly reducing the risk of downtime and failures which can be costly.  We test to the recognised industry recommended standards on site to provide an accurate test result at source and to reduce the risk of changing environment and false representation.

Particulate testing

Particulate contamination is the easiest way for costly engine problems to occur. With contamination in many forms from rust particles to large CFU particulates that will block filters, injectors and other costly parts of your engine or backup systems, even the pipework restricting the fuel flow.

This is another reason to carry out periodic fuel testing and tank maintenance as it can prove very cost effective. All our testing for particulate contamination conforms to the industry recommended ISO 4406-1999 code and comes complete with our full analysis report.