How Important is the Pump to Fuel and Tank Cleaning?

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Fuel quality is critical. So is the equipment designed to maintain it.  At the heart of Dixon’s cleaning and filtration equipment is its Tri-lobe impeller-pump design which provides amazing pressure and vacuum performance during cleaning and filtration. One of the most challenging applications for a pump is lifting fluid from below the inlet of the pump.  Dixon’s pump runs dry long enough to create the vacuum needed to lift or pull through long lengths of pipe. And don’t worry about dry run issues. We have astounding dry run capability. We have run our pump dry for 21 days with no change in performance or evidence of damage. Best of all it will not burn up like our competitors. Self-priming is easy and our pump can lift fluid 30 feet.

Why are these important factors for filtration equipment? The challenge of filtering fuel in tanks deep underground or high above ground can make filtration impractical or almost impossible. Dixon’s filtration equipment can overcome many of the challenges associated with suction and lift as a result of its unique design. Check out our videos and see for yourself.  Contact us about our superior cleaning and filtration products at 1-800-874-8976 or email Patrick Eakins at peakins@dixonpumps.com for more information and pricing.

Fuel and Tank Cleaning Fact vs. Fiction

Reality Check

Fuel contamination and dirty tanks are a reality for tank owners today. Poor fuel quality is responsible for rising costs for tank and fuel system owners.

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Liability issues caused by microbial influenced corrosion abound. The tank owner is faced with skyrocketing maintenance costs and liabilities that were not a problem a decade ago. Contaminated fuel attributes to the corrosion issue, part of the larger global corrosion problem costing over $2.5 trillion dollars each year. Corrosion represents the single largest expense in the US economy, 6.2% GDP. Today’s tank owners are having trouble coming to grips with the cost of bad fuel. Separating fact from fiction will help identify an acceptable solution to dirty tanks and contaminated fuel.

Fiction often begins with the idea that tank and fuel cleaning is too expensive. Fact exposes the truth – you cannot afford to have dirty tanks and fuel. The rising cost of equipment, maintenance and liability issues are all attributed to contaminated fuel. The cost benefit of clean tanks and fuel far outweigh the cost to clean.

Fiction includes believing your tanks and fuel are clean. Fact – almost 75% of fuel sampled contain moderate to serious contamination. Exposing the dangers of blind belief that your tanks are clean is a necessary step to taking appropriate action. A fuel sampler is an investment worth making. Monitoring devices and water finding paste can fail. The most effective way to determine what is in your tank is to take a bottom sample.

Helping tank owners peel away fact from fiction is key to reducing the costs associated with contaminated tanks and fuel. Identifying cost effective options to clean and maintain tanks will help owners to take the necessary steps to fuel quality management and tank maintenance. Call Dixon Pumps at 1-800-874-8976 or check out our Online Store where you can order a fuel sampler and much more.

 

What’s in My Fuel? (Part 3)

The Effects of Dirty Fuel

As fuel ages, it degrades. Contaminants accelerate fuel degradation. Water is the most damaging contaminant and is attributed to a host of chain reactions. When water is present, microbes can grow. They commonly find their home in emulsified and free water. Microbes do not colonize easily in dissolved water. However, dissolved water does effect the stability of fuel causing accelerated aging. The pictures above show serious contamination in diesel fuel. The water found at the bottom of the tank contained a high level of microbial growth, a direct result of the contamination. Bacteria and fungi (including yeast and mold) will grow wherever water is found. Most of these microorganisms are aerobic – meaning they require oxygen to live and grow. Water supplies the need.

While there are other types of microbes – anaerobic and facultative anaerobes – aerobics are the primary ones found in fuels. Anaerobic microbes do not require oxygen to survive and facultative anaerobes can live in both oxygen and non-oxygen environments. While rarer, they are sometimes found. Aerobic microbes require very little water to multiply. Small areas of condensation on a tank wall can sustain a colony of aerobes. This microbial contamination causes biodeterioration of fuel. As fuel deteriorates, a layer of biofilm forms at the fuel/water interface in the bottom of the tank. Biomass colonies can also form and suspend within the fuel layer, especially when biofuel is present.

Microbes feed off hydrocarbons. They are often referred to as hydrocarbon utilizing microorganisms or Humbugs. As they eat the fuel, they produce an acidic byproduct. The acid settles to the bottom of the tank, remains suspended in the fuel and forms an acidic vapor in the fuel system raising the acidic content of the fuel system and causing microbial influenced corrosion (MIC). One of the most prevalent acids found is acetic acid caused by Acetobacter bacteria. They generate acetic acid from ethanol. Due to cross-contamination of fuels, ethanol is found in most fuel types including diesel allowing for the reproduction of Acetobacter and the production of acetic acid.

Acid formation accelerates the decomposition of fuel especially biodiesel. The molecules of biodiesel are predominantly fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). Its breakdown usually happens slowly unless water is present. The chemical breakdown of FAME by water (hydrolysis) is accelerated in an acidic environment. As a result biodiesel has a very short shelf life.

Most problems can be minimized with a fuel quality management program. Regular fuel sampling and immediate water removal when found. A Fuel Quality Management Program helps to identify contamination problems long before they reach the level seen in the photos above.  Contact Dixon Pumps for help with contamination control at 1-800-874-8976 or find additional information at our CleanFuel website.

Fuel and Tank Cleaning Training

Over the last several weeks, I have been in the field training technicians how to clean tanks and maintain clean, dry fuel.  Fuel quality does not just happen all by itself.  It takes a trained fuel quality technician operating a quality filtration and cleaning machine to get the job done.  One of the ways Dixon Pumps differentiates itself among other fuel and tank cleaning equipment manufacturers is by providing in-field technician training. Take a look at the results of the last few training sessions.

 

We train technicians on the proper use of field equipment, giving them an advantage over others with little to no training. From learning how the machines operate, to proper site set-up as well as managing expectations.  Some of the biggest challenges happen in the field when a technician comes across something they have never seen before.  We help them to understand how common “new problems” can be in the field.  Alleviating fears and instilling confidence in the process and equipment they operate helps the technician to overcome obstacles that many never do.

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Our Mobile Tank Cleaning Unit, pictured above, is just one of several quality products Dixon Pumps manufactures.  We believe in manufacturing quality products that are simple to operate.  Combine this with the in-field training and you have a recipe for success. Let Dixon help you!  Give us a call or email us for information and pricing.

Tank Cleaning Field Report

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Do you know what lurks in your tank?  I spent the last week in Quito, Ecuador cleaning diesel tanks and training field technicians to do the same. Amazing what we found – microbial contamination, dirt, sand, deteriorated fuel and even a plastic bag.

20190109_130136Working at high altitudes, lifting fuel 16 feet at 9,000 feet of elevation was no easy task. Much less effectively cleaning fuel and tanks that had never been cleaned before.  Amazingly, we were able to clean three tanks in two days and the big take-away for all of my trainees were – expect the unexpected.  In my lifetime of working with fuels, I am constantly finding new things and learning.  Just when you think you have seen it all, something new comes up.

Using our Dixon Mobile Tank Cleaning Unit with a Gamajet nozzle, we were able to clean the tank walls then filter the remaining diesel for an excellent result. Contact Dixon for help with your tanks!