MARINE – DIESEL FUEL
Effects of the diesel bug on marine vessels
Blocked fuel system and filters can cause catastrophic failures like engine shut-down due to fuel starvation and increased engine wear. Non-uniform flow causes variation in combustion which Increases piston and cylinder wear rates and increased torque on camshafts translate into increased maintenance costs. Engine failure due to fuel starvation can be a particularly embarrassing consequence of biofilm accumulation. If it happens to an aircraft engine during flight, or a marine diesel during operations in restricted waters or heavy seas, the impact can be catastrophic.
Microenvironment’s conducive to microbial contamination may be produced throughout any storage or service tank. Volatile organics in the vapor phase above stored fuel are absorbed by condensate droplets, providing an excellent environment for biofilm formation on exposed surfaces which leads to corrosion of tanks, fuel systems, pistons, cylinders and injectors.
Uncontrolled microbial contamination of diesel fuels has a significant negative economic impact at every phase of the fuel production, transport, storage and consumption. Degradation of diesel fuel can begin during interim storage at the refinery. Often, contamination processes which start at this stage go undetected until end user fleet operators experience problems. Microbes attack the fuel and additives directly. They also cause secondary problems, including sludge formation, fouling and corrosion. Tank-farm maintenance and fleet operations costs can be reduced substantially by controlling contamination before the problems occur.