Microbiological Contamination of Diesel Fuel

Diesel fuel system microbial contamination detection and testing.

Intertek helps clients detect and treat costly diesel fuel system problems resulting from microbe infestations.

Microbiological contamination in diesel fuel systems creates serious problems related to increased solids (fungal and yeast biomass), bio-polymers (slime associated with bacterial growth) and increased corrosivity (sulphides) due to sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB), among other issues. 

Fuel system problems involving bacterial infestations include plugged filters, corroded fuel injectors and fuel starvation. The problem can be local to the microbial infestation, separated by short distances in the distribution system, or even located miles away in the supply-chain. It is important to identify the location of microbiological activity resulting in a particular problem, and find the root cause of the microbiological activity. Intertek can help both locate, identify, and treat microbial infestations in diesel fuel systems.

Diesel fuel microbe infestation analysis, IP-385 and IP-472:

Microbiological growth and related problems with diesel fuel:

  • Bacteria:
    SRB causes Corrosion and Sludge Development, GHB, Pseudomonas causes Surfactancy Problems), Flavobacterium, Acinetobacter and Micrococcus
  • Yeasts:
    Candida, Saccharomyces, Torula, Hansenula
  • Moulds:
    Hormoconis resinae (formerly Cladosporium Resinae), Aspergillus (both form form bacterial mats, below which intense corrosion can occur), Penicillium, Fusarium and Botrytis 

Diesel microbial contamination symptoms:

  • Aggregation of Biomass observed as Discolouration, Turbidity and Fouling
  • Biosurfactants promote Stable Water Haze and Particle Dispersion affecting Plug Filters, Pumps and Injectors
  • Tank Pitting
  • Non-uniform Fuel Flow and Variations in Combustion may accelerate Piston Rings and Cylinder Wear Rates and affect Camshaft Torque
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