Can Fuel Additives Help Remove Water?

phase separation

Do fuel additives have a place in fuel quality management? If so, do they work? These are both loaded questions. The short answer to both questions is “yes.” There are literally hundreds of different fuel additives on the market today ranging from octane boosters to injection cleaners. When addressing the problems associated with fuel quality management, one issue remains paramount to solving, water! The presence of water in fuel is the biggest problem. Solve this and you are well on your way to cleaner fuel.

There is always water present in fuel, the questions are how much is too much and how do we reduce it to an acceptable level. Filtration is the best way.  Coalescing and water separation technology is the most efficient way of dealing with water. However, today’s fuels are becoming more difficult to clean even with high quality filters and filtration systems.

The question then arises what do I do with highly emulsified fuel?  Can I clean it or is it unusable? There are additives that can be used to help. If fuel becomes contaminated with water and emulsifies, the water becomes suspended in the fuel and makes the fuel cloudy. It can often require a dehazer or demulsifier additive to help drop the water out of suspension. These additives help to break the bond between the water and fuel by altering the surface tension of the fuel. The water will coalesce and fall out of the fuel, making it easier to pump off and filter.

After field testing several products commonly used on the market today, we have found one product to be excellent at dehazing or demulsifing fuel – FuelDry. Take a look at the before and after samples below.

Pre and Post testing showed the water content dropped from over 2,000 ppm to under 52 ppm.  The water dropped out of the fuel and was pumped off. If you are looking for a way to help remove water or help maintain the fuel and keep it from emulsifing, email me at for help.  Even with great filtration, sometimes additives help to reduce costs by limiting downtime and helping filtration work better.

Bad Fuel Kills Engines

bad fuelWOW…. This sample was pulled from a fuel depot at a very large county school bus garage system.  They called in a panic saying they had big increases in bus maintenance.  The lead mechanic indicated that they could not keep injectors for their bus engines on the shelf.  Buses that were almost new were breaking down.  What was the cause – BAD FUEL!   Fuel depots were surveyed and samples were taken of each tank.  Not one passed.  They were all just as bad as the next.  One sample that contained bio-diesel had turned rancid.

Unfortunately, this is the story often witnessed.  Unaware that fuel has a very short life span and is associated with an assortment of problems if left unmanaged, many tank owners and operators are experiencing the same problem.  FACT – fuel must be managed!  Water, contaminants and microbial growth are all a serious problem.  If a fuel quality management program is not in place, then bad fuel will almost certainly cause catastrophic increases in equipment and engine maintenance resulting in failure and liablities.

First, take a good bottom sample of the fuel.  If the visual sample is failing, then something must be done to clean the tank and fuel.  Minimally contaminated fuel might be mediated with chemical additives. However, it is likely tank and fuel cleaning must be done which often includes a fuel additive or biocide. Check out Dixon Pumps website. We can provide you with the cleaning equipment and the training to take care of the problem. Don’t have a fuel sampler, go to our online store and purchase one. In need of biocides or quality fuel additives, we also sell Biobor products.