For the past decade, there has been a dramatic public response regarding the existence of diesel algae in fuel storage tanks. Diesel algae can severely damage your diesel engines. The most common type resides in the spaces between diesel fuel and water.
Diesel algae can reproduce rapidly. Once they grow in number, your diesel fuel will start to look misty. Detection of diesel fuel algae is low, which is why mobile diesel tanks should have properly sealed filler caps. When water enters your fuel tank, there is a high risk of diesel algae growth.
How does water get in your fuel tank?
Unlike gasoline, diesel fuel has no vapour pressure to displace air. A warm fuel tank allows the air to expand, which is why water condensation always happens. Other handling and environmental conditions can also contribute to the accumulation of water in your diesel fuel.
Furthermore, a poorly installed tank vent allows rainwater to seep through to your tank. A diesel tank filler cap that can’t be sealed properly allows rainwater to enter the filler opening.
How do you know if there are diesel algae in your tank?
Running a microbe test is one of the ways to detect diesel fuel algae. The test takes about three to four days to develop. However, this kind of test will only give you a yes-or-no answer rather than a quantitative answer to the present diesel fuel algae in your tank.
Another way of detecting diesel algae is if your fuel pH is lower than it should be. A 7.0 fuel pH is neutral; however, a 5.8 fuel pH indicates a strong proof of microbe presence in your fuel tank.
What are the consequences of having diesel algae in your tank?
These diesel fuel bacteria will form a layer of slime that will clog your fuel filters and further spread bacteria throughout the fuel system. As a result, the bacteria will release acids as a waste product that will corrode and damage the fuel system components.
How can you prevent diesel algae?
Make sure to check quality mobile diesel tanks for sale. When you buy diesel fuel, try to investigate how it is stored. Diesel tanks that are rarely used have a high chance of carrying infected diesel fuel. Keep in mind to close the filler cap properly. Alternatively, you can install a primary fuel filter or a drain valve.
In conclusion, water is the enemy of diesel engines because it lowers the lubrication properties of diesel fuel. Water will always find a way inside, making it requisite to separate water from diesel fuel to avoid diesel algae.