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Thread: Bio Sludge in fuel tank

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    WA
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    4,369

    Re: Bio Sludge in fuel tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 3DB View Post
    Smithy - that article is interesting, but a lot to digest. I will work on that.

    Tony - what are the risks of going for a very concentrated solution of either methanol or turps to clean your pump? I have been thinking about the same using my Facet pump to cycle a solution through the IP while the engine is off.
    I imagine that there may be some degradation of the fuel lines if the high concentration MeOH was in the system for a long time. I doubt that the impact using a low concentration would be significant. So, if planning to do the 'shock dose' (10% MeOH), that it be done in a short time-frame to minimise impact on hoses.
    I can't do it with the engine off, unless I leave the ignition on, as the shut down valve prevents circulation thru the IP when Ign. is Off.
    Aside from the fact that it is highly flammable and toxic to humans, what are the other risks using methanol in this manner? Is it likely to damage hoses or nitrile or Viton seals in the pump in concentrated form? Assuming you flushed it afterwards with biodiesel to ensure no significant quantities of methanol make it into the combustion chamber, would it be ok?

    What about turps? Better or worse?

    And what about a residual maintenance dose added to the fuel on an ongoing basis to keep the TS dissolved. Similar to a 10% addition of ULP? What would be a safe % of methanol to try?

    Is there a risk of dislodging a heap of TS that has been accumulating in the fuel tank over the years and sending a big plug of it towards the IP? Hopefully the sediment trap and filter would catch it?
    This last point is one of concern with a 'shock dose'. What we need is someone who has an issue with the TS to try a shock dose to see what happens. I don't do many Km in my car, so a 'Shock dose' would sit in my fuel tank too long for my liking. I will try a 'maintenance dose' of 1% in my biodiesel.
    How can I tell if it works?
    Someone who has a sedimenter (aka TS trap) might like to see what happens to the TS when a 10% solution is pumped thru an impacted TS Trap. Does the level of TS drop with the 10% solution being pumped thru it?

    Any volunteers?
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '06 Musso Sports 4X4 Manual Crew Cab tray back.
    '04 Rexton 4X4 Automatic SUV
    '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP) - Wife's car

    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup.
    '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
    '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Engine donor for W123 coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab well body. [Head gasket blew!]
    '04 Rexton SUV 2.9L Turbodiesel same as Musso - Our Family car.
    '06 Musso sports Crew Cab Trayback - My hack (no air cond, no heater).

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  2. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Roleystone
    Posts
    1

    Re: Bio Sludge in fuel tank

    Generally bacteria are able to grow in almost all environments that we encounter, unless provide specific and well designed anti-bacterial toxins. In my own vehicle use of oil, I encountered bacterial growth in steel tanks as the most common problem and it was because the bacteria cultures were a consortia (mixed species group) with all of slime bacteria, iron-related bacteria and heterogeneous (organic matter-consuming) bacteria. This mixtures are aerobic (using atmospheric oxygen) and relatively fast growing because they have the metal as a reducing material to use in making the various biochemicals in their metabolism. A side product of the reduction is excreting excess sulphur as that volatile hydrogen sulphide you can smell from metal drums Alga.

    Controlling bacteria in fuel is not just restricted to biofuels. Most refineries have corrosion issues in storage tanks and have to add and manage levels of various antibiotic materials. There are both fungi and bacteria and they both float and sink and are surface colonies and in suspension. The antibiotics are available as pure antibiotics to use as additives but kill the cost benefits of using the biofuel, but lengthen the lifespan of your car. Some hydrocarbon wastes such as the erythrosides that are from transformers are basically not metabolisable by microorganisms and can remain operational for 20+ years, but that is a rare case.

    Variations in the colour and consistency of bacteria samples can be caused by how much corrosion of the tanks walls and other components (like rubber lines) they have caused. Also some drop-outs are simply physical (such as fats that drop when oils are chilled) and we should always filter with as cold-adjusted a raw mixture as our car tank will subsequently get.

    Ordinary diesel can have problems (usually associated with water in the fuel supply) and I have recently pulled an in-tank lift pump from a black nylon fueltank and found it dead and covered with red-brown sludge. The vehicle had never had biodiesel (apart from some Gull via the bowser) and I would relate it to having lived in the wet weather of Denmark for several years and collecting condensate from air whenever the car cools down faster than its surrounds overnight. The vehicle's fuel line filter has a water bleed off that I check and I have never found any water in it, but growth in the tank still occurred.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    4,369

    Re: Bio Sludge in fuel tank

    A WARFA member has offered this contribution:
    The black stuff is a combination of soap, glycerine and residual KOH/NAOH.
    The glycerin is whats left of the triglyceride after the methyl esters(biodiesel) have been separated and the soap is made as a result of a side reaction between the oil and the methoxide.
    Well washed biodiesel will never keep reacting in your fuel tank because all the chemical reactants are not present anymore.
    I emphasize "well washed". All the chemical reactants including the glycerine and soap needs to be removed. Soap is soluble so its very easy to clog up your fuel system if it's not removed properly.

    Rob
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '06 Musso Sports 4X4 Manual Crew Cab tray back.
    '04 Rexton 4X4 Automatic SUV
    '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP) - Wife's car

    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup.
    '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
    '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Engine donor for W123 coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab well body. [Head gasket blew!]
    '04 Rexton SUV 2.9L Turbodiesel same as Musso - Our Family car.
    '06 Musso sports Crew Cab Trayback - My hack (no air cond, no heater).

    Searching the Biofuels Forum using Google
    Adding images and/or documents to your posts


  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    285

    Re: Bio Sludge in fuel tank

    A bio friend experimented on his ute with 100% methanol yesterday (I assume he still on the road today!?).

    "It is clear that the non-return valve on Facet pumps are a choke point for crud .
    I unscrewed the hexagonal assembly on the input side. it has a small spring closed plastic button mounted in a brass cage that has space around for
    fuel passage , not much room. Bit of brown gunk in there , probable cause of fuel starvation at hiway cruising that i got last bush trip . I fitted the pre-filter to the Facet input as a precaution.
    Maybe switching on the facet when things get sluggish/missing , is dislodging the crud which then sticks in the (main ) filter.

    I also pumped a bit of fuel up the line - quite cloudy and dark . I did a biocide dose Friday which may be something to do with that .

    I also pumped 600ml methanol thru IP . Came out without lumps or flakes , but was brownish. May just be residual fuel , although I mouth-blew most out prior.
    I left meth in for just 10 minutes - maybe an overnight soak would be best."

    He has temporarily removed his sediment trap though.
    3DB
    1995 Holden (Isuzu) Rodeo 2.8TD 4X4 - B100 since April 2013
    1976 Mercedes 300D Turbo 'The Coal Grenade' - B100 since May 2016 - SOLD
    1994 Peugeot 405 SRDT 1.9L intercooled turbo diesel (Shitbox Rally car.) - B100 since August 2019 - SOLD
    @thirddegreeburns on Instagram
    @thirddegreeburns2019 on Facebook

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
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    Re: Bio Sludge in fuel tank

    It would be good to have an IP which is suspected of having some TS in it, opened and inspected (and take 'before' photos). Than run it with a high % Methanol/Biodiesel blend for a week before opening the IP and inspecting it (and take 'after' photos to compare with the before photos).
    Do we have any volunteers for the study?
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '06 Musso Sports 4X4 Manual Crew Cab tray back.
    '04 Rexton 4X4 Automatic SUV
    '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP) - Wife's car

    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup.
    '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
    '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Engine donor for W123 coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab well body. [Head gasket blew!]
    '04 Rexton SUV 2.9L Turbodiesel same as Musso - Our Family car.
    '06 Musso sports Crew Cab Trayback - My hack (no air cond, no heater).

    Searching the Biofuels Forum using Google
    Adding images and/or documents to your posts


  6. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    285

    Re: Bio Sludge in fuel tank

    Here's a good read on 'algae' in diesel as it relates to boats. Sounds like algae is actually bacteria....I had wondered how algae would photosynthesise inside a dark fuel tank....

    I see some similarities in the descriptions of the 'algae' to TS here

    http://www.boatcoachbob.com/articles...-diesel-algae/
    Last edited by 3DB; 1st April 2017 at 08:36 PM.
    3DB
    1995 Holden (Isuzu) Rodeo 2.8TD 4X4 - B100 since April 2013
    1976 Mercedes 300D Turbo 'The Coal Grenade' - B100 since May 2016 - SOLD
    1994 Peugeot 405 SRDT 1.9L intercooled turbo diesel (Shitbox Rally car.) - B100 since August 2019 - SOLD
    @thirddegreeburns on Instagram
    @thirddegreeburns2019 on Facebook

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    In the sunshine state.
    Posts
    860

    Re: Bio Sludge in fuel tank

    That is not algae, if you get algae let me assure you, you will know it/.

    Being organic the algae will live all through biodiesel feeding on water in it and make a very awful mess of the complete fuel system leaving a resin like deposit that sticks to everything. There are several types but the one I had left orange resin in two cars. The material given to me is a very toxic to it and is used in water purification at very reduced levels but at minimal levels it will klll algae and leave it as a sand type material as it kills individual organisms (as experienced in the fuel filter bowel. I was advised to not get it on skin as it will almost permanently hypersensitise you to it, given its prevalent in the air this is not good. I have a 20 litre bottle of it and 1ml in 10ml of methylated spirits does the job nicely. Kept safe under the shed so the truck is back on bio.
    Biodiesel Bandit

    Landcruiser '98 80 series B100.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    225

    Re: Bio Sludge in fuel tank

    Quote Originally Posted by 3DB View Post
    Maybe it is algae then? I have a sample and just need a microscope to have a look. I have a mate that studies Antarctic moss for a living - maybe I'll send it to him.
    I knew the stuff I had was algal because of its response to caustic soda. If you treat black mould in your shower recess with oven cleaner (caustic soda) it lifts off the surface and assumes a gelatinous consistency. The stuff in my Frantz and fuel tank behaved in exactly the same way. In my tank it just lifted away from the steel and I just reached in with my hand and lifted it out as a single sheet.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    4,369

    Re: Bio Sludge in fuel tank

    Mark,
    Questions:
    How does microbial sludge respond to caustic soda, compared to algal sludge?
    Doesn't algae need sunlight to form?
    Why?
    Regards,
    Tony
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '06 Musso Sports 4X4 Manual Crew Cab tray back.
    '04 Rexton 4X4 Automatic SUV
    '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP) - Wife's car

    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup.
    '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
    '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Engine donor for W123 coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab well body. [Head gasket blew!]
    '04 Rexton SUV 2.9L Turbodiesel same as Musso - Our Family car.
    '06 Musso sports Crew Cab Trayback - My hack (no air cond, no heater).

    Searching the Biofuels Forum using Google
    Adding images and/or documents to your posts


  10. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    numurkah
    Posts
    579

    Re: Bio Sludge in fuel tank

    I serviced My 405 pug today and it had a black tar like substances in the bottom of the fuel filter housing (again) . Ive got 3 other vehicles that run on bio and this is the only one that produces this black crap. I have flushed the IP in the past and not got much crap out of it, and I have struggled in the past to clean the filter house with petrol, metho, and isoprop alcohol, so just out of interest i cleaned the filter housing with methanol. It did a great job and dissolved this stuff really well. So Im going to flush the IP out with methanol and see what happens, probably this weekend.
    Ill report back, with the results

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