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Fuel Right (Canada) Limited
Head Office
PO Box 157
Komoka, Ontario
(519) 473-9406

Robert Lemoine
(506) 233-3835

Al Robbie
(604) 992-5990

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Bacteria are natural residents in diesel fuel. They are most commonly introduced through vent tubes, water intrusion, and fuel transfer. Chemicals from water in the fuel form a conditioning film on solid surfaces. This occurs within minutes after the fuel has been introduced to the tank. This film allows free-floating bacterial cells to attach to the surface (Stage 1), at which point some of them begin to generate a starch like substance often referred to as "slime"(Stage 2). This is the "glue" that holds the sludge or biomass together. Soon, other bacteria start to move into the slime layer (Stage 3). Some of these get their food from the fuel, while others get their food from the by-products of the fuel users. The result is a rather complex ecology of life forms growing in the sludge (Stage 4). Some of these bacteria produce organic acids, which may promote pitting corrosion of underlying steel. The pitting corrosion, only observed under sludge accumulations, accounts for most fuel tank failures.

As sludge builds up, bits of it slough off and travel downstream (Stage 5), where they adhere to surfaces (Stage 6) - perhaps a filter - and start to grow new sludge. The most common indicator of a severely fouled fuel system is complete filter plugging resulting in egine shut-down.

Biofilm Development Stage 1
Biofilm Development Stage 2
biofilm development stage 3
Sessile bacteria attaching to surfaces within fuel system
Bacteria excrete slime-forming bacteria
complex bacterial colonies begin to develop
biofilm development stage 4
biofilm development stage 5
biofilm sloughing
Complex biofilm development - biocides are rarely effective against established "sludge"
Biofilm Sloughing
Sloughing - redeposit on filters, fuel lines, strainers


fouled fuel tank
fouled day tank
racor bowl sludge
Bacterial sludge at the bottom of a marine fuel tank
Tugboat day tank after draining shows excessive bacterial sludge
Racor bowl indicating sludge contamination

Corrosion - MIC - Microbial Influenced Corrosion

Sludge in contact with steel or cast iron leads to corrosion. The exact role of the bacteria themselves is a matter of much research and conjecture, but it is clear that very high rates of metal penetration occur under biologically active sludge.\

Anodic corrosion site
Anodic Corrosion Site

Fuel Stability and the Presence of Microbial Contamination

The presence of biofilm in fuel systems impact the environment that the fuel is residing in. Corrosion by-products may act as catalysts in the reaction that result in the oxidation of the fuel. Free-floating acids are also a contributor to fuel oxidation.

Did you know that the presence of biofilm can affect the following?

check mark Decrease in corrosion inhibitor additive effectiveness
check mark Decrease anti-oxidant additive effectiveness
check mark Reduce lubricity additive effectiveness
check mark Decrease fuel's oxidative stability
check mark Boost a fuel's peroxide number
check mark Boost a fuel's total acid number (TAN)
check mark Increase fuel's corrosivity

Filter Plugging

Bits of sludge that have landed on a filter will grow and slowly blanket the filter, sealing it off and stopping the flow of fuel. These growths may initially appear as tiny specs and not readily visible to the naked eye. As biofilm is transparent, the colour of the contamination is a good indicator of what issues are going on in the tank. A black contaminated filter is evidence of degraded fuel while a rust coloured filter is evidence of severe corrosion. The three example below are samples of each case.

Filters plugged with transparent sludge Racor filter plugged with sludge Filter plugged with sludge showing corrosion
Filters removed from a boiler system. The filter on the far left is plugged with transparent biofilm - they progressively improve with Fuel Right treatment - the filter on the far right is operating normally after Fuel Right treatment. Racor 4 micron filter removed from a sailboat with severe sludge problem. Filter plugged with sludge carrying high levels of corrosion particles.

Performance Implications

Diesel engine technology is evolving and fuel is changing. ULSD has been stripped of lubricity and oxidative stability has been compromised. Newer tier engines operate with a common rail fuel delivery system with piezoelectric injectors. Pressure are extremely high and the injectors operate with extremely tight tolerances.

Using dirty fuel in new and old engines leads to premature component failure, injectors operating inefficiently and reduced fuel economy. Conventional fuel additives today typically promote lubricity and performance using 2-EHN (2 Ethylhexyl Nitrate) cetane boost. While this helps performance at the engine, this ignores the issues in the tank and through the delivery system (strainers, fuel lines and filters)

Fuel Right takes a holistic approach at managing fuel completely through the system from the tank through delivery and performance.

Fuel Right offers total fuel coverage;

Features & Benefits
Fuel Right droplet Dissolves, Disperses & Prevents Bacterial Contamination from clogging fuel lines, filters and strainers
Fuel Right droplet More Effective than Biocides or Conventional Fuel Additives - We have Test Data to Prove it!
Fuel Right droplet Cleans Tanks, Fuel Lines, Filters and Strainers
Fuel Right droplet Improves Fuel Economy
Fuel Right droplet Reduces Exhaust Particulate
Fuel Right droplet Restores Fuel Lubricity and Stabilizes Fuel in Storage
Fuel Right droplet Provides a Microscopic Corrosion Coating to Help Prevent MIC Corrosion
Fuel Right droplet Warranty Safe for all Diesel Engines
Fuel Right droplet EPA Registered
Fuel Right droplet Suitable for use in Diesel, Bio-Diesel and Marine Gas Oil

It Pays to Fuel Right!

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