The ISO (International Standards Organisation) have created a rating system for fluid contamination - ISO4406/99. Fuel can be rated against these standards through laboratory or field test kits. The standard differentiates fuel contamination particulates based on their size and distribution. The levels in your fuel will be compared against particle count of 4, 6 & 14 microns (4 microns and higher, 6 microns and higher and 14 microns and higher) per mililitre of fuel giving a reading such as 15/13/17. The range between the upper and lower limits of particulate increase or decrease by a factor of two for each rating. The worldwide fuel charter recommends an ISO level of 18/16/13.
Fuel preservatives are a chemicals used to maintain (preserve) the quality of your fuel. They are not designed or used with the intention of improving fresh, high quality fuel (see Fuel Additives); only to maintain fresh, high quality fuel or improve poor quality fuel that has become contaminated. Preservatives include chemicals such as biocides - chemicals used to cure a microbial issue in your fuel or as a preventative measure to ensure your fuel remains free of microbial contamination.
Fuel Additives are designed to improve the characteristics of standard fuels. They are different from preservatives in that they are often used to improve energy output or efficiency of your fuel. Preservatives are designed and used to maintain (preserve) the quality of your fuel. Additives include chemicals such as Cetane Improvers, that boost the ignition quality of your fuel and attempt to improve fuel efficiency.
Biocides (sometimes known as microbiocides) are chemicals added to fluids or products to prevent thr growth of micro-organisms. They are used either as a preventative treatment (to stop microbial growth from initialising) or a curative treatment (to neutralise existing microbial growth). Biocides can be found in many everyday products including washing up liquid, furniture, hand cleaner and more relevant to our case - hydrocarbon fuels. A good biocide will quickly act on microbial growth and neutralise the organic structure of the microorganism, stopping the symptoms of this issue as quickly as possible, and working on as a wide spectrum of microbial growth as possible (there are millions of variants).
Cetane Improvers are chemicals added to diesel fuels to minimise ignition delay In doing so, your fuel generally burns more efficiently (losing less energy), improves fuel efficiency and reduces smoke output from your engine. Your fuel will have a specific Cetane Index value (i.e. 45) that conforms to the fuel grade your have purchased. The chemical used to achieve this is usually 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (2 EHN). Note: 2 EHN is a highly volatile chemical and should be handled with extreme care.
Cold flow improvers are chemicals added to hydrocarbon fuels to reduce the temperature at which your fuel becomes cloudy and waxy - the point at which fuel is unable to 'flow' due to high viscosity. The lower the temperature, the higher the viscosity. At very low temperatures elements of your fuel (paraffins) become highly viscous and drop out ofthe fuel solution causing filter blocking and deposits in your fuel tank. CFI's will simply lower the temperature at which this process occurs. Most CFI's can only reduce this value for 5-10 degrees celsius, but this is often enough in cold climates to keep engines running.
Test Kits are small field-based tools that can be used to analyse a characteristic of your fuel. They can be used to test for a certain set of parameters in your fuel such as microbial growth or water content. Some parameters cannot be tested in the field (i.e. metallic content) and a laboratory test must be used.
An incubator (in our case) is a device used to incubate fuel samples. Some fuel tests (such as microbial growth test kits) cannot be used to accurately test fuel samples in a short space of time. In these cases test kits (once inoculated with fuel samples) are placed in an incubator for up to 4 days to analyse the growth of microorganisms in the test.
Lubricity Improvers are chemicals designed to be added to hydrocarbon fuels to improve their lubricity. Fuels such as ULSD are commonly found to have low lubricity levels leading to engine breakdown. Lubcricity improvers are added to bring the fuels back up to specification and ensure engines continue to run at optimal efficiency. Low lubricity in your fuel will cause 'scarring' on engine components leading to corrosion and poor combustion. The test used for lubcricity is called an HFRR test (high frequency reciprocating rig) - where fuel is spun around a component and the scar left by the fuel is measured in length; the longer the scar, the lower the lubricity.
Biofuels are the catch-all term for fuels produced from renewable sources, which are often then added to traditional fuels to form a blend. In the case of Biodiesel (biofuels + traditional diesel), the blend ratio between biofuels and traditional hydrocarbon fuels is designated by the letter 'B' before a blend ratio i.e. B5 = 5% Biodiesel, 95% Mineral Diesel. In the case of Ethanol based fuels, the same applies but using the letter 'E' i.e. E10 (10% bioethanol, 90% traditional ethanol sources). Biofuels can encompass diverse sources of fuel such as biomass (breakdown of wood or other renewable materials), Palm oil or in some cases waste food products. One of the main issues facing the growth of biofuels is provenance - some sources are traced correctly back to source, proving their quality, other sources are from less reputable sources and can cause problems when blended in to diesel. The fuel characteristics of these different sources vary to a large degree - one batch of B5 could be very high quality, another very low causing filter blocking and fuel starvation in your engine.
Biofuel additives are usually added to biodiesel to improve stability. Stability is an issue because biofuels, when blended with traditional fuel sources, can often drop out of solution. This means you will start to find deposits in your fuel tank, filters blocking very quickly or poor combustion characteristics leading to lower fuel efficiency.
Stability improvers are usually added to biodiesel or traditional diesel due to their inability to stay in solution for long periods or under different environmental conditions. For example, biodiesel will often be blended with traditional diesel and requires stability improvement to ensure deposits do not sink to the tank bottom, or cause filters to block with waxy substances.
ULSD is an initialism standing for Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel - Diesel which has an upper limit of Sulphur content of 15ppm (part per million). ULSD is the most common form of diesel throughout the U.S. & Europe where legislation has established the need for low sulphur in combatting the harmful effects of climate change. Ad-Blue is a fluid mixed with exhaust from diesel engines to breakdown the harmful greenhouse gasses into more environmentally friendly gasses. By removing sulphur from fuel, this process can occur without any problems. ULSD is well known to cause lubricity issues.
LSD is an initialism standing for Low Sulphur Diesel. It was used mainly as a stepping-stone fuel prior to the final implementation of ULSD (Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel) legislation. By removing Sulphur, the exhaust gas systems such as Ad-Blue can be implemented without causing further greenhouse gasses being produced by diesel exhaust.
Bx Biodiesel is a description of the biofuel content in your diesel. B1 = 1% Biodiesel, 99% Mineral Diesel for example, or B10 = 10% Biodiesel, 90% Mineral Diesel. Common Bx values are B5 and B10 in the U.S. & Europe where legislation is aiming towards B10 across all diesel fuel supplies by 2020.
Diesel is a middle distillate fuel from Fuel Oil. It is the most common middle distillate used globally and can be found powering diesel engines across every industry. Diesel is different from Petrol and combusts in a different fashion. Diesel uses high temperatures and pressures to achieve ignition (compression ignition combustion engine). FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Esther) is a new form of diesel produced from biofuel sources - it is often added to diesel and blended using water.
Petrol (known as Gasoline or Gas in the U.S.) is a middle distillate fuel made from Petroleum. It is most often used in automotive transport. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the distillation of petroleum with a variety of additives added for stability purposes. Some petrol may contain ethanol as a biologically sourced addition.
Fuel oil is a fuel obtained from petroleum distillation. Fuel oil is any liquid petroleum product burned in a furnace or boiler for the generation of heat or more commonly, used in an engine for the generation of power (such as Diesel). Fuel oil is made of long chain hydrocarbons such as alkanes, cycloalkanes and aromatics. The term fuel oil is also used to refer only to the heaviest fuels obtained from crude oil i.e. heavier than gasoline and naphtha.
Marine Gas Oil (MGO) is a fuel oil (roughly equivalent to No. 2 fuel oil, made from distillate only) used throughout the marine industry when bunkering. This fuel has an ISO fuel quality standard of 8217 (latest spec 2010/2012) that is used to ensure fuels meet minimum quality levels.
Jet A1 is a kerosene-based fuel designed for use in aircraft powered by gas-turbine engines such as jet fighters or commercial airliners. Jet A1 is produced to a standardised international specification so aircraft can refill globally. Jet A1 is a mixture of a large number of different hydrocarbons. Jet A-1 has a carbon number distribution between about 8 and 16 (carbon atoms per molecule).
JP8 (Jet Propellant 8) is a kersene-based jet fuel, specified by the US military and other military forces. It is specified by MIL-DTL-83133 and British Defence Standard 91-87, and similar to Jet A1. A kerosene-based fuel, JP-8 is projected to remain in use at least until 2025.
In Biofuel parlance, a feedstock is a catch-all term for biological matter that once processed can be used as fuel. The feedstock simply outlines the source of the material being processed, for example, wood is often processed to become biomass, a feedstock used and added to traditional fuels such as biodiesel.
Water phase is the section of a fuel tank containing water. Water has higher density than most liquid fuels and therefore sinks to the base of a fuel tank. Here it collect and becomes known as the water phase. This is different to the fuel phase that is held in the tank above the water.
The fuel phase is the section of a fuel tank containing liquid fuel. Fuel is less dense than water and floats above any water content in your tank. Water will often sink to the base of a fuel tank, whilst fuel remains on top. Water is an ideal breeding ground for micro-organisms causing the 'Diesel Bug'. The issue often is found in both phases but is primarily a problem found in the water phase.
The International Air Transport Association is the trade association for the world’s airlines. It represents over 240 airlines worldwide. IATA aids airline organisation and helps formulate industry policy and standards.
SAE International (The Society of Automotive Engineers) is a professional association and standards organisation for automotive engineering professionals working in industries such as automotive, aerospace, and commercial vehicles. The organisation coordinates the development of technical standards based on good practice. Membership is possible for individuals and not companies.
IASH (International Association on the Stability & Handling of Liquid Fuels) is an organisation dedicated todiscussion and agreement on the technical aspects related to the stability, handling, and use of liquid fuels such as petroleum & diesel. IASH is a wholly independent non-political, non-commercial, not-for-profit organisation funded and run by volunteers.
ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials), is an international standards organisation that develops and publishes agreements on technical standards for a range of materials, products, systems, and services. In the fuel world, ASTM has a similar role to ISO and IP methods - where standards are created and published for fuel types and fuel testing.
The I.P. (Institute of Petroleum) is now known as the Energy Institute (E.I.). The Energy Institute (E.I.) is the professional organisation that represents the energy industry, delivering good practice, ethics & professional structures to the energy sector.
An engine is a machine designed to convert energy into useful mechanical motion. Heat-based engines, including internal combustion engines and external combustion engines (i.e. steam engines) burn chemical energy (fuel) to create heat, which then creates kinetic energy (motion). Electric motors convert electricity into kinetic energy, pneumatic motors convert compressed air into elastic energy. In biology systems, molecular motors, like myosins in muscles, use chemical energy to create motion. Our focus is occupied with internal combustion engines such as those that convert diesel into movement.
An injector is a device used in an engine to inject fuel into a cavity such as a cylinder. The fuel is then either compressed or ignited producing combustion, forcing valves to move creating motion. The injector is a key area of interest for engine users - it is the location that fuel and engine mix with air - any problems in this area can have a dramatic effect on engine performance.
Common rail is a form of fuel injection used in petrol and diesel engines. In diesel engines, it includes a high-pressure fuel rail feeding individual valves. Third-generation common rail diesels now feature piezoelectric injectors for better injection precision, with fuel pressures up to 3,000 bar (300 MPa; 44,000 psi).
The fuel pump provides pressure for fuel being drawn from the fuel tank, through any pipework to the injection system of an engine. The fuel pump can often fail when used with contaminated fuel either through extreme debris or through long term corrosion ('pitting').
A fuel tank holds the fuel for your engine in vehicles, or holds fuel for storage for fleets. In vehicles it is connected to the engine via pipework and fuel pumps. Fuel tanks often contain both fuel, water and contaminants such as micro-organisms and trace metals.
Paraffins (Alkanes) are elements of your fuel. In organic chemistry they are a form of saturated hydrocarbon. Alkanes consist only of hydrogen & carbon atoms with single bonds. They have the general chemical formula CnH2n+2. There are two main commercial sources: crude oil and natural gas.
The fuel/water interface is the area in a fuel tank where fuel and water meet - due to different densities of the liquids, water will sink to the bottom of a tank, fuel remains on top. In the middle is the fuel/water interface, where the issue of the 'Diesel Bug' can become prevalent. The micro-organisms feed on the fuel as an energy source, but required the water as an environment in which to survive.
SRB's (Sulphate Reducing Bacteria) are particularly corrosive forms of fuel contaminants ('The Diesel Bug'). SRB's create hydrochloric acid as a byproduct of their growth. This acid can be created in large volumes where contamination levels are high. The acid then attacks fuel tanks, fuel pumps, pipework and engine components leading to corrosion (known as 'pitting').
Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension between two liquids. Surfactants may act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants. A surfactant contains both a water insoluble (or oil soluble) component and a water soluble component. Surfactants will diffuse in water and adsorb at interfaces between air and water or at the interface between oil and water, in the case where water is mixed with oil.
Fuel economy is a measure of motion efficiency - illustrating the distance achieved in motion by a specific volume of chemical eneryg usually in the form of a hydrocarbon fuel. Economy is usually shown as 'MPG' (miles per gallon) or kilometre per litre in metric units. Some additive chemistries claim an improvement in fuel economy either through direct action (improving cetane value for instance) or indirect action such as cleaning engine systems leading to a cleaner combustion.
Engine power is a rating given to every internal combustion engine showing the expected power output, usually in kW (Kilowatts). The unit is similar in nature to HP (horsepower).
Power curves or Power band shows the power band of an engine operating speed vs power output. While engines and motors have a large range of operating speeds, the power band is usually a much smaller range of engine speed, only half or less of the total engine speed range. Specifically, power curves are defined by the range from peak torque to peak horsepower. For example: combustion engines typically generate maximum torque at perhaps 2500 RPM. The peak horsepower might be 5000 RPM. Such an engine would have a power band of 2500 to 5000 RPM, in which the engine would be very efficient.
Fuel filters are devices installed before engines and after fuel tanks to remove contamination or particulate. Fuel often has trace contaminant content such as metals or micro-organisms, the filters task is stop these elements reaching the engine where damage can be done to components. Filters are often down to 5 or 10 microns - usually enough to stop larger particles but not large enough to stop small ones.
Fuel polishing is a means of cleaning your fuel via mechanical means. Contaminated fuel is often removed from fuel tanks by suction, fed through filtration systems and replaced back into the tank. Fuel polishing relies of filtration which is ideal for removing larger particulates of contamination, but cannot prevent the growth of micro-organisms - the contamination is often sub-micron size.
SEM or a Scanning Electron Microscope is a type of microscope that produces images of a sample by scanning it with a focused beam of electrons. The electrons interact with atoms in the sample, producing various signals that can be detected and that contain information about the sample's surface topography and composition. It is often applied to fuel residues or contaminants to determine their composition.
Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS, EDX, or XEDS) is a method of testing solid matter by the use of x-rays. The test is used on fuel residues and contaminants to determine its composition. It is often used in conjunction with other test methods such as FTIR. It is an analytical technique used for the elemental analysis or chemical characterization of a sample. It relies on an interaction of some source of X-ray excitation and a sample. Its characterization capabilities are due in large part to the fundamental principle that each element has a unique atomic structure allowing unique set of peaks on its X-ray spectrum.
Fourier transform spectroscopy is a test method whereby spectra are collected based on measurements of the coherence of a radiative source. It can be applied to a variety of types of spectroscopy including optical spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy (FTIR, FT-NIRS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI), mass spectrometry and electron spin resonance spectroscopy.
Gas chromatography (GC), is a common type of chromatography used in analytical chemistry for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition. Typical uses of GC include testing the purity of a particular substance, or separating the different components of a mixture (the relative amounts of such components can also be determined). In some situations, GC may help in identifying a compound. In preparative chromatography, GC can be used to prepare pure compounds from a mixture.
CMIT or Methylchloroisothiazolinone (5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one), also referred to as MCI, is a preservative with antibacterial and antifungal effects within the group of isothiazolinones. It is effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, yeast, and fungi. Methylchloroisothiazolinone is known by the registered tradename Kathon FP 1.5 when used in combination with methylisothiazolinone in fuel-related applications, usually in a glycol solvent.
MIT or Methylisothiazolinone and other isothiazolinone-derived biocides are utilized for controlling microbial growth in water-containing solutions. Two of the most widely used isothiazolinone biocides are 5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one (chloromethylisothiazolinone or CMIT) and 2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one (methylisothiazolinone or MIT), which are the active ingredients in a 3:1 mixture (CMIT:MIT) sold as Kathon FP 1.5 in fuel-related applications.
Ethylene glycol, commonly known as just glycol, is an organic compound primarily used in industrial applications like antifreeze formulations and other chemical products. It is an odorless, colorless, syrupy, sweet-tasting liquid and used in products such as biocides as a solvent.
A solution is a mixture composed of only one 'phase'. In such a mixture, a solute is a substance dissolved in another substance, known as a solvent. The solvent does the dissolving. The solution more or less takes on the characteristics of the solvent including its phase, and the solvent is commonly the major fraction of the mixture. The concentration of a solute in a solution is a measure of how much of that solute is dissolved in the solvent.
A solvent is part of a mixture known as a solution. A solution is a combination of a solution and a solute. The solvent is the base element - the part of the solution the solute is dissolved into. The solvent is usually the majority of a solution.
An active ingredient is the part of a mixture designated to perform a specific active function. Uusually active ingredients are solutes - i.e. a substance dissolved into a solvent. A biocide is a good example of an active ingedient - the biocide usually is a solute dissolved into a solution. The solution helps the biocide combine with the product it is designed to treat.
BPR is the biocide products regulations created by the EU BPD (Biocide product directive) and known under the name BPR in the UK. Each european country has their own versions of the BPD, and the BPR is that of the UK. The BPR is designed to harmonise the produce, sale & marketing of harmful biocidal substances across the EU.
The BPD (Biocide Products Directive) is the name of legislation in the EU governing the produce, sale & marketing of biocidal sbstances. Biodies can often be harmful and thi legislation ensures all countries are compliant with the safety rules. This is known as the BPD (Biocide Products directive) in the UK.
CLP is the new name for the harmonised safety labelling guidleines for dangerous chemicals. This replaces the CHIP system previously employed across the EU. The main and most noticable change for consumers is the new hazard pictograms - red diamond shapes with black safety diagrams. The previous CHIP pictograms were square orange boxes with black diagrams.
Bacteria are micro-organisms that proliferate mainly in water and air. They are connected with contamination in fuels by the 'Diesel Bug' the growth of large colonies of bacteria and fungi that cause fuel quality to deteriorate. Bacteria are too small to be visible to the naked eye.
Yeasts are microorganisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with 1,500 species currently described. Yeasts are unicellular, although some species with yeast forms may become multicellular through the formation of strings of connected budding cells known as pseudohyphae, or false hyphae, as seen in most molds. Yeasts are often found in water and can grow abundantly in fuel supplies where water is present.
Moulds are a type of fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae. In contrast, fungi that can adopt a single celled growth habit are called yeasts. Moulds can be present in water and therefore fuel too. The Moulds typically reside in water bottoms in fuel tanks and feed off fuel.
A fungus is a member of a large group of microorganisms such as yeasts and moulds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, Fungi, which is separate from plants, animals, protists and bacteria. One major difference is that fungal cells have cell walls that contain chitin, unlike the cell walls of plants and some protists, which contain cellulose, and unlike the cell walls of bacteria. These and other differences show that the fungi form a single group of related organisms, named the Eumycota (true fungi or Eumycetes), that share a common ancestor (is a monophyletic group). This fungal group is distinct from the structurally similar myxomycetes (slime molds) and oomycetes (water molds).
Anaerobic means 'without oxygen'. For example anaerobic bacteria have the ability to survive and procreat in places without oxygen to provide energy.
Aerobic means 'with oxygen'. The term is often used in conjunction with bacterial growth where the micro-organisms grow and proliferate with the use of oxygen.
Microbes are the catch-all term for micro-organisms. Very small multi-cellular organisms that are often discussed as either Bacteria or Fungi.
Biofilm is the growth of bacterial colonies in large quantities - enough to be seen by the naked eye, usually covering a surface or liquid. For example, in fuels, a biofilm can often be seen floating in fuels where the diesel bug has occurred.
Sludge is a catch-all term for black or brown material of a semi-liquid status. In fuels, microbial fuel contaminatino creates sludge as a product of growth. The sludge consists of many millions of colonies of bacteria or fungi. Sludge is often found at the bottom of fuel tanks and when left unchecked can cause filter blockage.
The EPA is the Environmental Protection Agency, a legislative body in the U.S. tasked with protecting the countries citizens against the harmful effects of chemicals.
The Fuel Quality Directive (or Directive on the Promotion of the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport), officially named '2003/30/EC' and sometimes known as the biofuels directive is a European Union directive for promoting the use of biofuels for transport in the EU. The directive entered into force in May 2003, and stipulates that national measures must be taken by countries across the EU aiming at replacing 5.75% of all transport fossil fuels (petrol and diesel) with biofuels by 2010.
The IATA technical fuels group is a steering group maintained by IATA (International Air Transport Association) that aids decision making in the context of aviation fuels. Aviation fuels are monitored precisely due to the safety legislation initiated by IATA.
Microbiology is the study of microoganisms. Microorganisms include small living organisms such as bacteria or fungi. Fuels are often contaminated by these microorganisms (the diesel bug) and such fuel microbiology is a separate field within the area.
Dosage is the term for applying a dose of one product into another. For example, in the fuel industry dosage (or dosing) refers to the application of chemicals (additives or preservatives) into fuel.
Biodiesel is the fuel derived from organic material, usually in the form of FAME (Fatty acid Methyl Esther). It is often mixed with mineral ('normal') diesel and is used to help reduce the reliance on mineral fuels. It is often represented as a mixture with the letter 'B' followed by a number i.e. B5 is 5% biodiesel.
Kerosene is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid. The word "Kerosene" was registered as a trademark by Abraham Gesner in 1854, and for several years, only the North American Gas Light Company and the Downer Company (to which Gesner had granted the right) were allowed to call their lamp oil "Kerosene" in the United States.
Coke is a fuel with few impurities and a high carbon content, usually made from coal. It is the solid carbonaceous material derived from destructive distillation of low-ash, low-sulfur bituminous coal. Cokes made from coal are grey, hard, and porous. While coke can be formed naturally, the commonly used form is man-made. The form known as petroleum coke, or pet coke, is derived from oil refinery coker units or other cracking processes. Often in internal combustion engines, coking is the term describing the process of injectors becoming solidified with coke.
Heating oil, or oil heat, is a low viscosity, liquid petroleum product used as a fuel for furnaces or boilers in buildings. Heating oil consists of a mixture of petroleum-derived hydrocarbons in the 14- to 20-carbon atom range that condense between 250 and 350 °C (482 and 662 °F) during oil refining. Heating oil condenses at a lower temperature than petroleum jelly, bitumen, candle wax, and lubricating oil, but at a higher temperature than kerosene, which condenses between 160–250 °C (320–482 °F).
In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon.Hydrocarbons from which one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional groups, called hydrocarbyls. Aromatic hydrocarbons (arenes), alkanes, alkenes, cycloalkanes and alkyne-based compounds are different types of hydrocarbons.
The majority of hydrocarbons naturally occur in crude oil, where decomposed organic matter provides an abundance of carbon and hydrogen which, when bonded, can catenate to form seemingly limitless chains.
w/w% is weight over weight % - a measure of the mass of one product mixed with another. This sometimes referred to as wt%.
v/v% is the volume over volume % - a measure of the volume of one product mixed with another. The unit is often found in additive MSDS or TDS document outlining active ingredients, or sometimes describing the amount of an additive required in a solution.
Dow is a multinational organisation primarily involved in chemical manufacture, research and development. The company manufactures a range of fuel-related additives and preservatives including Kathon FP 1.5 Fuel Biocide, a product used to prevent an cure microbial fuel contamination.
Fuelcare is a UK based business focussing on the improvement of fuel quality. Our primary experience and expertise is in the area of microbial fuel contamination - the issue of micro-organisms found in diesel that causes filter blocking and tank corrosion.
Sampling is the act of taking a representative sample from a product, and in fuel, usually a sample from the base of a tank. Sampling should always be carried out by a suitably qualified personnel due to the various risks involved including static, spillages and working at height.
A breather is a device situated usually on the surface of a fuel tank that allows air in. Without the breather in place (in fuel tanks) there is often a build up of harmful gasses such as hydrogen sulphide that are poisonous to humans and can cause issues in fuel. Unfortunately breathers often allow moisture into fuel tanks, which in turn can cause microbial fuel contamination (the 'diesel bug').
Additive injection is a mechanical process of injecting additives into a liquid. Usually it involves turbine systems situated in fuel pipework, creating drive to inject additives vis means of pressure and flow kinetic energy. Some systems are based on power but are often difficult to install or have safety issues around fuel and chemicals.
Haze factor is the visual measurement of opacity in a sample. In fuel samples the haze factor determines how contaminated the fuel is, in a basic form. The contamination however can take the form of many different issues and a full laboratory test is required.
MIC is the minimum inhibitory concentration of a product. For example in the world of fuels, the MIC is a level of biocide that is required to achieve the most basic function. In the case of Kathon FP 1.5, the MIC is 70ppm, so 70ml is required for every 1000L of fuel to achieve biocidal effects.
Filter Plugging (sometimes known as Filter Blinding or Filter Blocking) is the blocking of filters usually from contaminants. In fuel, contaminants such as microorganims can build up into a sludge-like substance either on fuel tank bottoms or sometimes floating on the surface of fuel. This issue can flow downstream into fuel filters causing blockage. Once blockage has occured, fuel starvation will shut the engine down.
Broad spectrum (in the world of biocides) is a means of describing the anti-microbial characteristics of the product. A spectrum is a the wide range of bacteria and fungi microorganisms seen in applications such as fuel. A broad spectrum neutralises the widest range of microbes and in the best cases 99.9% of activity will cease.
Partition coefficient is the calculation descibing the partition of a product into 2 or more separate sub-products. In the world of fuel, biocides are used to prevent and cure microbial activity. This activity often occures in both water and fuel phases of fuel tanks and thus the biocide must partition between the 2 phases. The coefficient describes how much of the biocide should be present in each phase to work correctly.
An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial process plant where crude oil is processed and refined into more useful products such as petroleum naphtha, gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt base, heating oil, kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas.Oil refineries are typically large, sprawling industrial complexes with extensive piping running throughout, carrying streams of fluids between large chemical processing units. In many ways, oil refineries use much of the technology of, and can be thought of, as types of chemical plants. The crude oil feedstock has typically been processed by an oil production plant. There is usually an oil depot (tank farm) at or near an oil refinery for the storage of incoming crude oil feedstock as well as bulk liquid products.
In fuel applications, downstream indicates the direction in which fuel flows. Fuel is produced from crude oil, flow downstream to the refinery, from where it continues further downstream to distributors and finally fuel users. This differs from upstream. Downstream often also refers to a type of fuel user, usually the end user such as businesses, the general public etc.
In fuel applications, upstream indicates the direction from which fuel originates. Fuel is produced upstream from fuel users by refiners and producers (from crude) and stored by distrbutors.
Amorphothecaceae are a family of fungi in the Ascomycota phylum. In nature, Amorphothecaceae exist under Taxus trees. The only known species within this family, Amorphotheca resinae (also known as Hormoconis resinae or Cladosporium resinae), can live in tanks of diesel or jet fuel, consuming alkanes and traces of water, which can cause problems for airliners and boats.
Marinobacter is a genus of Proteobacteria found in sea water. A number of strains and species can degrade hydrocarbons. The species involved in hydrocarbon degradation include M. alkaliphilus, M. aquaeolei, M. arcticus, M. hydrocarbonoclasticus, M. maritimus & M. squalenivorans.
An MSDS or Material Safety Data Sheet is a document used in conjunction with products such as chemicals. The sheet determines the safety precautions required for using the product and also the possible effects of exposure to the chemical.
SDS or Safety Data Sheet is another name for MSDS. An MSDS or Material Safety Data Sheet is a document used in conjunction with products such as chemicals. The sheet determines the safety precautions required for using the product and also the possible effects of exposure to the chemical.
A PDS or Product Data Sheet (sometimes known as the TDS or Technical Data Sheet) is a document provided with a product. It outlines what the product should do, how it works and any basic safety data. In the case of chemical additives or preservatives the document should be accompanies with an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet).
A TDS or Technical Data Sheet (sometimes known as the PDS or Product Data Sheet) is a document provided with a product. It outlines what the product should do, how it works and any basic safety data. In the case of chemical additives or preservatives the document should be accompanies with an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet).
A microorganism is a small organic lifeform. It is described as bactieria or fungi usually and is commonly found in places such as hydrocarbon fuels. When in fuels the microoganisms can become problematic due to high growth rate, leading to filter blocking and fuel starvation.
Fuel usually contains a small amount of trace metals. These are usually Zinc or Iron but can be almost any metal in a small quantity. When found in large quantities in fuel, the metals can become problematic, causing corrosion on engine surfaces or causing injector failure. Often they are found to cause instability leading to fuel breakdown.
Sodium is a common contaminant in fuel, often a left over element from the refining process. In large quantities it can cause fuel instability leading to residue build up in fuel tanks. This residue can be harmful to your engine and causes a range of problems such as lower efficiency or reduced power.
An IBC or intermediate bulk container is a chemical receptical designed to usually hold 1000 Litres or 1000kg (Depending on product density). It is usually used to transport liquids such as chemicals.
An ISOtainers is a large receptical used for the transporting of bulk fluids such as fuel additives or preservatices. They can come in a variety of sizes up to around 32,000 litres.
The UN number is a basic safety descriptor used to determine the type of chemical within a product. It is used frequently when determining the safety precaustions required when transporting dangerous chemicals.
The packing group is a dangerous goods descriptor describing how dangerous a product is. Class determines the type of danger the goods represent, the packing group, how severe this is.
The injector tip is the finest point of an engine injector. This is the output of the injector, where fuel and air mix to create combustion. The injector tip is extremely small in diameter, and when blocked can cause a wide range of issues including reduced engine power and lower fuel economy.
An aromatic hydrocarbon or arene (or sometimes aryl hydrocarbon) is a hydrocarbon with alternating double and single bonds between carbon atoms forming rings. The term 'aromatic' was assigned before the physical mechanism determining aromaticity was discovered, and was derived from the fact that many of the compounds have a sweet scent. The configuration of six carbon atoms in aromatic compounds is known as a benzene ring, after the simplest possible such hydrocarbon, benzene. Aromatic hydrocarbons can be monocyclic (MAH) or polycyclic (PAH).
A detergent is a surfactant or a mixture of surfactants with cleaning properties in dilute solutions. In most household contexts, the term detergent by itself refers specifically to laundry detergent or dish detergent, as opposed to hand soap or other types of cleaning agents. Detergents are commonly available as powders or concentrated solutions. Detergents, like soaps, work because they are amphiphilic: partly hydrophilic (polar) and partly hydrophobic (non-polar). Their dual nature facilitates the mixture of hydrophobic compounds (like oil and grease) with water. Because air is not hydrophilic, detergents are also foaming agents to varying degrees. They can often be found in fuel as a type of fuel additive.
FAME or Fatty Acid Methyl Esther is a type of biofuel. It is mixed with diesel to form a biodiesel blend. FAME is produced from vegetable oils using transesterification.
Hygroscopy is the ability of a substance to attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment. This is achieved through either absorption or adsorption with the absorbing or adsorbing material becoming physically "changed" somewhat, by an increase in volume, stickiness, or other physical characteristic of the material, as water molecules become "suspended" between the material's molecules in the process. While some similar forces are at work here, it is different from capillary attraction, a process where glass or other "solid" substances attract water, but are not changed in the process (for example, water molecules becoming suspended between the glass molecules).
Ethanol also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid with the structural formula CH3CH2OH, often abbreviated as C2H5OH or C2H6O. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a solvent, and as a fuel. In common usage, it is often referred to simply as alcohol or spirits.
A fuel emulsion is a mixture of regular fuels such as petrol or diesel, mixed with water. The inclusion of water has some basic benefits including improved efficiency (in some scenarios) but many drawbacks (microbial contamination).