Most Common Causes of Diesel Engine Failures

aviation-pump-fueling-skidChanging your diesel fuel filter frequently and cleaning diesel fuel tanks are seen as normal maintenance tasks. They should, however, be regarded as red flags indicating potential diesel engine failure. The individual parts of a diesel filtration system should last at least 1,000 hours. Injectors can be expected to have a lifespan of over 15,000 hours. Because diesel fuel is inherently unstable, sludge forms in your fuel tank, which will eventually foul your diesel fuel filters, damage your fuel injectors, make your diesel engine smoke and eventually ruin your equipment.

A plugged filter may be caused by low temperatures that lead to crystallization of the wax or paraffin contained in diesel fuel. Excessive microbial growth and the bio-degradation of diesel fuel can also plug filters. The micro-organisms, bacteria, fungus, yeast and mold create waste products within the fuel in a manner similar to the process of milk turning into cottage cheese. It should be noted that these waste products, do not clog the filter. The fuel components that form solids plug it.

Biocides are recommended to solve this problem, but by the time you notice the issue, the biocides’ effectiveness is limited. Relief will be minimal, and the organisms that survive will quickly reproduce. In fact, using biocides can worsen the situation and transform the bio-film that forms on the walls of the tank into solids that will clog the engines that power fuel transfer pumps. Plus, any water that is removed from a tank that has been treated with biocides must be handled carefully because biocides are toxic.

Symptoms of Contamination

You can tell if your clean diesel has been contaminated by watching for these symptoms.

  • Loss of power and RPMs
  • Sludge buildup in tanks
  • Dark, hazy fuel
  • Corroded, pitted injectors
  • Foul odor
  • Excess smoke
  • Clogged and slimy filters

Three Common Causes for Diesel Engine Failure

1. Contamination by Micro-Organisms and Dirt
Regardless of how clean your diesel fuel is, it degrades when exposed to heat, water and air. This degradation creates microorganisms, sludge and other dirt that will foul your system. Just filling your tank can introduce chemicals and dirt into it. These contaminants make the fuel solidify, which causes the clogging. This restricts fuel and causes unscheduled shutdowns. It also is responsible for poor fuel economy, sludge deposits in your engine and unnecessary wear and tear. In some cases, a dual filtration system can help by keeping one filter on standby, which means that to change filters, you do not have to shut down. Polishing your fuel will get rid of contaminants and help you avoid engine failure. It is a good idea to check the quality of the fuel before you fill your tank.

2. Water in the Tank
Water enters your tank through condensation, contaminated fuel and leaking deck fills. This water can seriously damage your engine when it is injected by turning into steam. The steam cracks the fuel injectors and corrodes other precision components. Water vapor in the engine returns to the tank and creates sludge. Water in your tank must be removed by filtering it through a centrifuge.

3. Air Leaks
Air leaks happen when fittings decay, valves are accidentally left loose or o-rings fail. Once air enters the fuel system, the engine will get air instead of fuel, which will starve the engine and make it stop. This is common when your fuel filters are clogged because the lift pump is straining to fuel the engine and increasing the vacuum. If your system has air leaks, check each component to find the leak. Then, fix the problem by tightening the valve or replacing any failing o-rings.

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The Most Effective Techniques for Storing and Transporting Jet Fuel

carbon-bed-filtration-systemWhen transporting jet fuel, a business should utilize pipelines that consist of carbon steel. The interior of each pipe may have a coating that prevents corrosion, and while managing the pipelines, many companies use cathodic protection. The fuel transfer pumps should cause the jet fuel to flow at a rate of 1.5 meters per second to 3.5 meters per second.

The Properties of the Fuel

Many jet fuels contain kerosene, which is a hydrocarbon liquid. The flash point of most of the fuels is 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and jet fuel typically has an autoignition temperature of 473 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cleaning the Pipelines

Companies frequently use cylindrical devices that can extract sedimentation from sizable pipes. By using this strategy, a business will not have to flush the lines, and in addition, the fuel can continue to flow while the device cleans the pipeline.

Micronic Filters

These products are designed to remove particulates from fuel. A business may also add cartridge filters to a diesel filtration system, and these devices will extract water from the flowing liquid.

If the fuel has been contaminated by water, the moisture will fall to the bottom of the lines because water is more dense than jet fuel. Subsequently, the liquid could freeze and prevent a substantial amount of fuel from reaching the engine.

The Pumps

Centrifugal pumps should be positioned at one end of a horizontal pipe, and the fuel transfer pumps generally contain relatively sizable motors. Many pipelines also have pressure regulators, which are able to slightly reduce the costs of operating the pumps.

Cathodic Protection

A company can prevent corrosion by connecting the metal surface of a pipeline to an electromechanical cell, which typically generates 50 volts of electricity. Consequently, the metal will become the cathode of the cell. When using this strategy, a company will connect cables to the pipeline and to the rectifier, and a junction box is able to monitor the output of electricity.

Preventing Oxidation

If fuel has a high level of oxidation, sludge may develop in the liquid, and the impure formula could damage an engine over time. When selling clean diesel fuel, many businesses will mix the liquid with a small amount of phenolic antioxidants, which are derived from plants.

Eliminating Certain Metals

Several types of materials are able to increase the likelihood of oxidation, and some of these include copper, cadmium and zinc. In order to decrease the effects of trace metals, a business should use a metal deactivator, and this type of compound is able to reduce the catalytic impact of the ions in metal.

Dealing With Electric Charges

Jet fuel typically collects static electricity, and many organizations use substances that disperse the stationary charges and reduce sparking. Some of these formulas consist of esters of phosphoric acid and aliphatic amines. Furthermore, certain antistatic compounds contain glycerol monostearate.

Removing Ice

The freezing point of jet fuels is generally between minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit and minus 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Although certain jets have heated lines, most companies will add a fuel system icing inhibitor to the pipes, and this formula consists almost entirely of ethers of ethylene glycol.

Sensors and Alarms

Above ground storage containers must be equipped with an alarm that will notify the company if the level of fuel becomes too high. A sensor may be connected to the container’s pump, and the device will be able to automatically stop the pump during an emergency.

Most tanks feature roofs that have the shape of a cone, and as a result, rainwater will slide off of the container’s upper section. In order to prevent the buildup of moisture in the tank, the interior will typically have a coating of epoxy. Moreover, a drain that is connected to a sump pump should be positioned at the bottom of the container.

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The Importance of Diesel Fuel Filtration to Protect Diesel Engines

NEULOGIC SYSTEMSThe Health Effects Institute (HEI) recently released its final report from the multi-year Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES). The Diesel Technology Forum quickly issued a statement regarding the report’s findings that new diesel filtration techniques had succeeded in improving emissions reductions. This was no surprise because expectations were high that the results would prove that being exposed to exhaust from vehicles with the new diesel technology did not increase the study animals’ likelihood of contracting lung cancer or any other type of health problem.

The Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, Allen Schaeffer, said that the study’s significance could not be overstated. The results verified that the new clean-diesel technology had practically no emissions of hydrocarbons (HC), particulate matter (PM) or nitrogen oxides (NOx). Although heavy-duty trucks were the study’s focus, the clean diesel technology will impact all diesel vehicles, including mass transit, construction, agriculture, maritime and passenger cars.

Schaeffer also said that having an authoritative body like the HEI perform such a comprehensive study is very important. The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHA), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored the study along with the companies that manufacture emissions control apparatus, such as filtering equipment and modern fuel transfer pumps.

Rising costs of operation, such as downtime and fuel expenses, in combination with tight environmental scrutiny, have placed the mining industry at a disadvantage. In a naturally dirty workplace, fuel cleanliness is critical. Modern diesel fuel pumps have enabled these large diesel-powered engines to remain free from contamination, so they can stay in service for longer periods.

Diesel Power’s Relation to America’s Economic Sectors

Diesel engines are the preferred technology driving 15 segments of the global economy, which is why the ACES study is so crucial according to Schaeffer. Clean diesel technology is the force that powers goods movement across the globe. In the United States, more highway trucks are already favoring the new clean technology. Nationally, over one-third of the commercial trucks these days are powered with engines made after 2007 that have reduced particulate matter and lowered NOx emissions by 98 percent when compared to vehicles from 1988. State to state figures vary, but some states have more than 50 percent of their diesel trucks using clean diesel engines. This directly and immediately affects all the communities where these trucks operate.

ACES Study on Clean Diesel’s Effects

Two revered not-for-profit organizations that research scientific matters spearhead ACES. The Coordinating Research Council (CRC) and the HEI work together on cooperative multi-party projects guided by their steering committee. That committee includes members of the petroleum industry, engine manufacturers, emissions control manufacturers, National Resources Defense Council, U.S. EPA, California Air Resources Board, American Petroleum Institute, U.S. DOE, National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health as well as others. A group of academic scientists advise ACES as an oversight committee.

Schaeffer said that there has been a complete transformation in diesel technology recently. In 2006, there was a shift to low-sulfur diesel fuel, which dropped the sulfur content of diesel fuel by 97 percent. Refinements in engines soon followed the cleaner diesel fuel advances. Now, emission controls and other reduction technologies have been deployed across a large range of technology for industry and engines.

Benefits of Clean Diesel Technology in Other Nations

Foreign countries can also enjoy the higher air quality that results from clean diesel fuel and clean diesel engines made in the U.S. Some 25 percent of all clean diesel engines manufactured here are exported to other countries. That places clean diesel technology at the top of the list of high value United States exports.

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