Fuel Tanks: What You Need to Know about Maintenance

Diesel generators are very important in terms of maintaining mission-critical facilities like data centers, hospitals, and grocery stores. But maintenance is vital in order to ensure a consistent performance. Therefore, understanding the importance of tank maintenance and how to effectively create a maintenance strategy is a must.

Diesel fuel has two main enemies: bacteria and water vapor. Since water vapor condenses in fuel tanks, this creates a condition for microbial growth. Then, this results in intense microbial contaminations of the system which leads to downtime and expensive repairs. The change in the color of the fuel is a good indicator that the fuel is contaminated. Some of the negative effects of this would include: poor detergency, reduced efficiency of combustion, elevated cloud and pour point, plugged fuel filter, and increased corrosion of the fuel components.


The Role of Fuel Tank

This microbial fuel contamination is caused by fungi and bacteria, which need water and food to thrive. And in the case of fuel tanks, diesel is their lifeblood. Since oil and water do not mix, microorganisms congregate in the fuel water interface. This is often formed at the bottom of the tank. In order to be microbe free and keep the fuel clean, water should be less available which would mean less chance for fuel bugs to survive.

Keeping the fuel tank clean will greatly help avoid contamination. The prevention method should include the control and evaluation of fuel system maintenance, fuel monitoring, fuel treatment, and fuel monitoring program (microorganisms).


Fuel Treatment

Fuel treatment is necessary to support any maintenance step when it comes to preventing the stored fuel from being contaminated with bacteria. During this stage, the fuel and water bottom should be treated to control the infection. Biomass from the system should also be removed.

Heavy growth of microbes can be treated with the use of a diesel fuel biocide after clarifying the fuel and mechanically processing the fuel, sludge, and water bottoms. This process is called fuel scrubbing and polishing.

Diesel fuel that has been contaminated needs to be removed from the tank and should be dewatered, clarified, and polished. Do this by mixing a media filtration system and fiber filter. Then, the shock level of diesel fuel biocide should be injected to the clean stream of processed fuel.

Make sure that the storage tank is well-cleaned and sterilized before reusing it. Any residue should be removed. It is also important to do a visual inspection of the interior part of the tank, as well as its pipe fittings. They should be inspected for proper function, clean lines, and corrosion.

With the help of proper care and efficient fuel tanks maintenance, you will have a trouble-free operation of your engines.