July 6th, 2018

Fig 1. Microbes in fuel systems and the biocides used to control them – a) fuel (yellow-orange) over bottoms-water (dark blue), with red lines showing where microbes tend to accumulate; b) after treatment with water-soluble biocide (purple stars); c) after treatment with fuel-soluble biocide; d) after treatment with universally-soluble biocide.Where are the bugs?If you intend to use a biocide to disinfect a fuel… READ MORE

June 1st, 2018

Fig 1. From Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798

Water, water everywhere…

Samuel Coleridge’s infamous mariner paid dearly for having killed an albatross (figure 1). Do fuel quality managers and personnel responsible for fuel system integrity pay dearly for underestimating the ability of small (<1 oz; 30 mL) pools of fuel-associated-water left behind after water has been nominally purged from a fuel tank? A water bit is any small volume of water that remains…

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April 12th, 2018

Disclaimer:

As in my previous post, I’ll open this post with a disclaimer. Microbes are ubiquitous. There are extraordinarily few habitats on earth where thriving, microbial communities have not been detected. In practical terms, this means that it is unlikely that operators will ever have a completely sterile fuel system or that they will reduce their fuel system biodeterioration risk to zero. Biodeterioration can still occur in the best maintained fuel systems. However, the risk of it…

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March 13th, 2018

Disclaimer:

I’ll open this post with a disclaimer. Microbes are ubiquitous. There are extraordinarily few habitats on earth where thriving, microbial communities have not been detected. In practical terms, this means that it is unlikely that operators will ever have a completely sterile fuel system or that they will reduce their fuel system biodeterioration risk to zero. Biodeterioration can still occur in the best maintained fuel systems. However, the risk of it occurring in an…

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February 5th, 2018

In today’s blog, I’ll cover the lastest family of microbiology methods used for testing fuels & fuel associated water. These methods fall under the category genomics – the study of genes. Warning: genetic testing is more technically complex than the methods I’ve described in recent posts. I’ll do my best to keep the language as simple as possible.

Genetic methods have evolved substantially over the past 30 years. They all depend on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR); first…

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