Chemical Industry

How to Prevent Microbial Growth in Your Fuel Tanks?

In recent years, our on-farm fuel storage systems needed to undergo a lot of beautiful changes. Without these changes, it will be left out by modernity.

Like for instance, fuel tanks of today are built with improved efficiency and safety.

But even so, proper maintenance habits and practices are still necessary to protect the fuel it is trying to contain. 

The presence of microbial and fungal contamination in-home fuel storage tanks will readily create a drudgery of challenges to us, such as:

  • fuel flow problems
  • increased rates of corrosion
  • plugged filters
  • reduced combustion efficiency
  • injector malfunctions

Microbial Growth in Home Diesel Storage Tanks

The presence of fungi or bacteria in your liquid fuel can induce microbial growth. And this is likely to happen when the prevailing conditions inside your fuel containment tanks are conducive for them to grow. The presence of water inside your fuel storage tank, regardless of how scanty the amount is, and diesel fuel temperature that is between 10 C to 40 C, usually work hand in hand to promote bacterial growth. 

Fungal spores that are normally identifiable in the ground soil can find their way to your tank through its venting system. Or at times, it could occur via contamination during filling. Water vapor condensation inside the void space of your tank can provide the perfect breeding ground for microbes to thrive and grow. These are usually identified in the fuel-water interface located at the bottom part of your fuel storage tank. 

tanks warehouse

The outset of microbial growth will eventually induce biomass production and you can easily identify because it usually takes on the appearance of dark slime. Some are saying that it has a very close resemblance to a chocolate mousse. Under extreme conditions, this sludge may accumulate on the bottom part of your liquid storage tank and cause clogging of your filter systems.  

Prevention of Microbial Growth

There could be no easier or better way to keep microbial growth from happening than by limiting the amount of water that can accumulate inside your storage tank. Paramount to this is making a regular inspection on tank bottoms, every month initially, to see if no water could be found. Ideally, the bottom of fuel tanks should be inspected for water presence, a minimum of 2 times a year. 

Another effective measure that will also get the job done right would be draining the water deposited at the bottom part of the fuel storage tank by mechanical methods. Some fuel storage tanks are also equipped with drain plugs already, and thus can be a good alternative also. 

It is also a good safety measure to equip fuel tanks with filters. Doing so will significantly help in keeping fungal spores and bacteria for getting easy access to your tank. 

Periodic cleaning, inspection, and maintenance – all these three work assignments are part and parcel of keeping your fuel tank at its most tiptop shape. Leaving only one of them behind will run the risk of jeopardizing your tanks in the peril of acquiring microbial contamination. 

Watch Out for Microbial Growth in Your Silvan Tanks

Bacterial Growth

Poly diesel fuel tanks and bunded tanks are both indispensable storage systems that are paramount to the success of farming, marine, and fleet operations. The practical application of such fuel storage systems will help your facility save time and a good amount of money by ensuring the high quality and safety of your stored liquid fuel. In order to make the most from your stored liquid fuel, you need to implement no less than an effective maintenance strategy for them. By this measure, you can anticipate that they will deliver for you the best results you want for your machine and automobile.  

Bacterial and fungal growth inside your silvan tanks or bunded tanks will trigger microbial growth. Bacteria and fungus, both will have and make use of your liquid fuel as their primary food source. Even if they have a special preference for diesel fuel and kerosene, if you have gasoline stored in your fuel tank it will still pose minimal risk for bacterial or fungal infestations. 

Gasoline is not really considered as a good candidate for food source of fungus since they are likely to contain lead or any other hard metals. Such hard metals can be noxious or poison to bacteria and fungus. 

By their nature, microbes naturally make their habitation on ground soil and thus it is fairly easy for them to become airborne and be everywhere the wind takes them. Hence, it is inevitable for them not to be found or be present in your fuel tanks. The liquid fuel you have in your tank is likely to have bacteria in them at a certain degree. 

The spores of bacteria are absolutely harmless in their natural state. But when the time comes for them to germinate, which can be triggered by certain conditions, that is the time that they can cause complications to their immediate surroundings.  

So what are the conditions that you need to keep an eye on as they may likely promote bacterial growth in your stored liquid fuel? There are 3 things that you need to watch out for. 

  1. First is water presence. 
  2. Second is food source (your fuel).
  3. Third is an appropriate temperature range, 10C (50F) -40C (104F).

Even if you ensure that your bunded tanks or silvan spray tanks do not contain any amount of water, chances are high that water vapor condensation within your storage tank will create the suitable conditions for microbial growth to happen within your system. 

Microbes need to have severe contamination first before they can grow and spread to other areas of your fuel tank. Water and oil in your fuel tank will never mix. So, microbes would grow and thrive instead in the fuel-water surface. Normally, this condition is what to be found at the bottom-most part of your liquid fuel tank.   

Chocolate mousse is the closest thing that microbial growth in your fuel tank can be compared to. If the infestation of microbes has reached its most severe conditions, you will find large mats of slime and guck at the bottom part of your tank. Their presence in your fuel tanks runs the risk of blocking your fuel tank filters. 

Clad or Cladosporium Resinae is among the most common fungus that can thrive and flourish inside your fuel tanks. The first-ever incident for this occurred in the aviation industry. The incident induced large-scale issue for this industry-first before it was finally put on control.  

Prevent Microbial Growth in Your Fuel Tank

There can be no better remedy for this kind of problem in your fuel tank than by keeping it from happening. Basically, what you need to do is just observe utmost cleanliness for your tanks, this will them from becoming contaminated by fungus or bacteria. 

Preventive fuel tank evaluation can be made distinct into 3 main parts, namely: 

You can utilize the power of diesel fuel biocide for this purpose or any kind of high-grade diesel microbial growth remover. Using either of the two will help in keeping bacterial or fungal contamination at bay.