Types of diesel fuel contamination.
The longer diesel fuel is stored or sits unused the greater the degree of contamination there will be. But what causes it? There are four main types of diesel fuel contamination.
1. Water Contamination
Water is the most common form of diesel fuel contamination. Water can enter the fuel tank from a number of sources: contaminated fuel delivery, uncovered fill or vent pipe and the most common– simple condensation. If left, water in the tank can lead to microbial growth, saturated filters and tank corrosion.
2. Microbial Growth Contamination
The presence of water provides the medium for microbial growth (bacterial and fungal). Microbes feed on fuel, multiply and excrete waste products which will clog your filters. These by-products are also highly corrosive to metals, gaskets, seals and storage tanks.
3. Particulate Matter Contamination
Particulate matter such as dirt, sand, rust and other metallic particles end up in diesel fuel and fuel storage tanks. These particles are abrasive and, as a result, can lead to wear and tear of the engine parts and ruin fuel injectors.
4. Fuel Breakdown By-Product Contamination
Diesel fuel is organic, so naturally it breaks down on its own. In fact diesel fuel starts to breakdown as soon as it leaves the Refinery. Eventually it produces a sludge that falls to the bottom of the storage tank. If left, this sludge can clog filters and cause carbon deposits in injectors, incomplete combustion and high emission levels.