In any large fuel tank, where diesel based fuels are stored for any period of time, contaminants build up both within the fuel, but due to the relative low density of the fuel, at the lower levels of the tank.
Water is the main problem, due to the build-up of micro-organisms whenever the fuel is in direct contact with any water. The actual bacteria which forms the sludge at the bottom of the tank, exists naturally within all mineral diesel fuels, but has become a greater problem since the introduction of higher levels of bio-diesel since 2011.
The hygroscopic nature of the bio-diesel draws much higher levels of moisture out of the surrounding atmosphere and the resulting water is either held in suspension within the fuel or as free water at the bottom of the tank. As soon as this water starts to build, the bacteria react
and the sludge forms very quickly.
Both the water and the sludge (also known as diesel bug) cause major problems if pulled through the fuel lines into whatever system the fuel is being used for. This tends to happen if the levels of contamination rise above the fuel take off point (usually positioned some distance above the bottom of the tank for this reason). The contamination can also be pulled through if the levels of suspended contamination are high, or if the fuel is agitated during a delivery.
In general terms, more than 90% of the contamination is to be found at the bottom 10% of the tank, and where the tank has a cleaning valve positioned at the very bottom of the tank, the contaminated fuel can be drained into an appropriate collection vessel and treated as waste. In many industrial environments, no such drain valves are present, to avoid the risk of fuel leakage if the valve fails, and in this case, the contamination can be drawn up from the bottom levels of the tanks using a range of specialist probes, pipes, pumps and tanks.
Craggs Environmental is fully licensed to remove and transport the contaminated fuel and has all the required skills and equipment to drain away the contaminated fuel, either via a drain valve or utilising a system of pipes to draw the contamination up through the top of the tank.
The service can be delivered on an ad hoc basis or as part of a regular maintenance service from Craggs Environmental. Once the contaminated fuel is removed Craggs Environmental will provide all appropriate waste certification, under the terms of its EA waste permit license.
Do you operate a fuel environment which provides a critical service? Speak to our team about the Craggs Environmental Managed Service to help reduce the risks of fuel/tank/application failure and fuel spillage by calling 0808 164 4570 or completing the form below.
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