Silvan tanks are among those top-of-the-line fuel containment systems that are reputed for their unique characteristics. Manufacturers have them built with enhanced efficiency and safety features, however, these positive notes about them do not necessarily take away the fact that proper maintenance practices should be put into perspective to protect the liquid fuel it contains inside.
Even if these occurrences seem to be limited, diesel fuel microbial contamination is likely to produce challenges and difficulties such as:
- plugged filters
- reduced combustion efficiency
- injector malfunctions
- increased rates of corrosion
- fuel flow problems
Microbial growth in fuel tanks is caused by no other than fungus and bacteria. This kind of growth is likely to take place the moment that water has found its way to your liquid fuel storage tank and your diesel’s temperature is anywhere between 10C to 40C.
Fungal spores and bacteria can be found everywhere, they can be found anywhere but have high concentrations in the soil. They can find their way to your fuel tank in various ways, such as through your fuel vent system. Another is through contamination during the refilling process.
When water vapor inside your fuel tank condenses, this will eventually create a suitable condition for microbial growth to take place. Usually, microbial growth will occur at the water-fuel interface which is at the bottom part of the tank. The biomass production and microbial growth melding together will result in a dark slime.
It takes on the appearance of algae, others have asserted that it is comparable to a chocolate mousse. This sludge, when they accumulate and grew or spread on the bottom part of your storage tank, that means to say that the conditions are already severe, and thus necessitating immediate action.
If you want to prevent microbial growth in your fuel storage tank, the best, cheapest, and easiest way to do it is to limit the amount of water that can get into your tank. Initially, we suggest that you check or inspect your tank every month and see to it that the bottom parts don’t have water in them. You may decrease frequency gradually if you are certain no water is found. Twice a year, make it a habit or as part of your tank maintenance routine to have it checked for water presence.
Most fuel tanks do have drain plugs, and they are usually located at the bottom part of it, too. Use this feature to regularly drain your tank. In the absence of drain plugs, you may come up with other mechanical means. Water leaking into your underground storage tanks must be prevented at all costs.
Check your fuel tank vents and make a way to install a filter system on them. This measure will help prevent fungal and bacterial spores from finding a way to get inside your fuel containment system or tank. Maintenance, periodic tank cleaning, and inspection should be among the prioritized.
We are not encouraging you to skimp on the above-suggested measures, but another option you can consider is the use of approved fuel preservative. Such products can provide substantial help in delaying or implementing some control on the buildup of microbial growth. As for the fuel treatment frequency, this aspect though will depend on how fast the growth (microbial) will go.