Algae in diesel, can you see it, what does it look like

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 25, 2004 at 14:01
ThreadID: 10779 Views:13149 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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Dear all,

I have heard of algae growing in diesel.
1. What causes it?
2.Under what conditions does it grow?
3.How do you prevent it from growing?
4.Can you see it?
5. If yes, what does it look like?
6.If no, how do you detect it?
7.What damage does it do?
8.If it is present, how do you get rid of it so the diesel can be safely used.

Hope you can help.

Mal T.

P.S. Congrats Melissa and family.
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Reply By: Roachie - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2004 at 14:54

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2004 at 14:54
My understanding is that it is a micro organism that lives in the "gap between diesel and water.....Si, it follows that if you don't have any water in your fuel tank, you shouldn't have any algae.
Yes you can see it.....it is creamy, browny bleep ty looking stuff.....put it this way....if it's there and you open up you filter, you'll "see" it.
It will gum up you filter, pump and injectors if not prevented.
I use a Morrison's De-Bug unit to stop this stuff before it gets to my filter. It looks like another fuel filter, but is a cannister filled with powerful magnets.....supposed to do the trick....Ron Moon has one on his Patrol and gave it a good write-up last year or so (but then he'd have to give it a wrap as he probably got it for nicks on the proviso he gave it a plug!!).
I also help prevent it by always trying to keep my tanks full.
My understanding is that you're more likely to get it if you are filling up out of 200ltr drums, as you do when using a fuel dump out on the CSR etc.
Cheers,
Roachie
AnswerID: 48045

Follow Up By: Brett - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2004 at 15:55

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2004 at 15:55
Cam also look like fine stringy stuff.

Rachie is right ..no water no algae. However, you may still pick up algae from a contaminated source. The algae can be killed with a biocide but one dead it needs to be removed. This can be done by thoroughly washing out your tank or by carrying a spare fuel filter just in case it it becomes blocked. Eventually the algae will be gone.
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FollowupID: 309955

Reply By: maverick - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2004 at 16:22

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2004 at 16:22
The growth will occur anywhere there is a chance of water contact with diesel - and there is darkness. You should expect it to occur in any diesel storage system that is above ground (that includes your vehicle tank-also don't believe the fuel distributors who say it will never be in their tanks). You cannot prevent it from occuring - only kill it when it does. As the other replies - its a brown/black sludge in the tank and filters. When next you change a filter cut it in half and see if there is any in there. It will generally sit on the bottom of the tank so if you can drain the tank you may get some residue. It can/will cause filters to block - therefore no fuel - therefore no go. I have experienced problems with this is the past on boats and have spent many a day inside fuel tanks shovelling the gunk out when the tank was emptied. yukky poo. I don't know if it is magic or what but after one episode where there was a need to replace a filter every 2 hrs during a 48hr voyage the 'DE BUG' filters were fitted (magic fairy land magnets) and there was no more trouble. Mind you we also used to dose the tank with a killing dose of biocide every fill (half life of 10,000yrs) but at least no more shovelling inside the tank. And some people question why I won't have a diesel. rgds
AnswerID: 48056

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Wednesday, Feb 25, 2004 at 21:03

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2004 at 21:03
Gday
My dealings with it were in a mates 80 series t/d main tank. Cruiser just stopped one trip, found the primer sucked down, swapping to aux and all was good. Turns out the algaie had coated the main tank, and in doing so, had blocked the screen on the inlet fuel pipe.
Believe it or not the best way to get rid of it according to the experts (in this particular instance) was to fill the main up with water and bleach. Run around on aux tank for a day or so and drain, 1/4 fill with diesel, run around on aux for another day and drain again. Then the fun started, every 2 days it was change the filter so much so that he bought a ryco adapter, and for weeks he was catching dead algaie.
Anyway enough rambling...it looked dark green slimey sludge when caught in the fuel bowl, and it is in 99.98% of fuel you get from servos, worse if tanks are above ground as the heat difference between day and night makes water in the tank. Anyway, if you have a fuel system with a distributer pump (looks like a dizzy with pipes instead of leads) your system is prone to getting bad infestations because the fuel is used to lube the pump and is recirculated making the whole fuel system warm and ideal conditions to breed......go to Nissan and buy their fuel treatment and use it as directed on the pack, no more no less. That will prevent it, and we all know about prevention and protection, dont we?
Andrewwheredayathinkwer mike?
AnswerID: 48090

Follow Up By: Phillip - Saturday, Mar 06, 2004 at 10:57

Saturday, Mar 06, 2004 at 10:57
I use Pro-ma diesel treatment in my diesel fuel , at the rate of 1 ml to a litre.

Used in Triton turbo , tractor , header and now in a new Prado.

The 1996 TRITON Has 162000 KM ON The Clock and the original fuel filter is still on and no problems.

This product is not on sale in retail outlets. It`s purchased from members of their multi marking organisation. [ I will sell it to you ]

The benefits of this product far out weigh the cost.

This product contains a surfactant which breaks down water in the fuel , detergent which keeps the whole fuel system clean , combustion modifier which gives better better burning of the fuel and improves the cold flow of the fuel.

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FollowupID: 311179

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