Global fuel analysis shows that fuel contamination levels have doubled over the past few years. The average gallon (3.8 liters) of diesel fuel can contain more than 18 million potentially harmful particles. Contaminated fuel leads to plugged filters, premature wear of engine parts and reduced performance of equipment.
Identifying the most common types of fuel contamination and means for preventing and resolving the issues are essential to protecting Tier 4 engines and ensuring the performance of portable equipment.
There are three main types of contaminants found in diesel fuel systems: organic contaminants, inorganic contaminants, and water.
1. Organic contaminants
As fuel circulates through the fuel injection system, it is warmed by high engine temperatures. As it circulates back to the fuel tank, it can cause the overall temperature of the fuel to rise. Increased fuel temperature can degrade poor-quality fuel, forming a thick black substance called asphaltene that leads to plugged fuel filters.
Solution: OEM-approved asphaltene conditioner will help stabilize the diesel fuel, and prevent potential fuel filter buildup and other negative side effects brought on by organic contamination.
2. Inorganic contaminants
Contaminants can be introduced to the fuel system through poor-quality fuel sources and dusty, dirty or windy operating environments. Particles as small as 4 microns – roughly ten to twelve times smaller than a human hair – found in fuel can prematurely wear down critical internal components, resulting in decreased engine performance, higher fuel consumption and costly damage.
Solution: Ensuring a clean fuel source and using OEM-approved fuel filters is the best way to combat inorganic contamination.
3. Water-in-fuel contaminant
Water is the most common contaminate found in diesel fuel. Condensation caused by temperature changes in the fuel lines and exposure of fuel storage systems to the environment are common culprits. Water in fuel can cause injector tip damage, premature wear of the fuel pump and microorganism growth. Microorganisms develop a thick layer of slimy, black deposits – often accompanied by a foul odor – that clog fuel filters and promote corrosion in fuel storage tanks.
Solution: Using an OEM-approved microbicide chemical solution will help eliminate microbial growth within 24 hours of introducing it into the fuel system.
Doosan Portable Power offers a range of genuine filtration products that ensure optimum performance and Tier 4 Final emissions compliance. Using genuine Doosan filtration technology is an integral part of protecting Tier 4 Final engine performance. When coupled with a disciplined preventive maintenance program, the combination is the best defense against the potential for catastrophic consequences of poor fuel quality management.