Fuel Tank Services: Cleaning and fuel polishing

Fuel polishing is a fuel-cleaning process that filters fuel, which removes water, microbial particles, and sludge from petroleum and diesel fuel to meet ASTM standards.

Newer automobiles have high-pressure fuel injection systems that require clean fuel to prevent fuel pump and injector damage. Fuel becomes “dirty” because of water condensation, which sinks to the bottom of the tanks. In diesel fuel tanks, colonies of filter-clogging bacteria and fungus grow where fuel and water meet in the tank; the byproduct of these colonies is acidic sludge, which corrodes tanks and engine components.

Indicators of dirty fuel are slow flow of fuel from the dispenser nozzle, which means that the filters are clogged. Clogged filters occur when moisture is in the fuel storge tank. This produces microbial growth in diesel or phase separation in E-10.


Types of Fuel Contamination

  • Water contamination in fuel can include emulsified, dissolved, or free-standing water. All forms of water contamination can cause corrosion and pitting of the interior of the fuel tank
  • Microbial contaminants in fuel can include mold, yeast, bacteria, and organic matter, which can clog filters and lead to corrosion
  • Particulate contamination in fuel can include dirt, soot, rust, and other solid particles that can clog and damage combustible engines


To ensure that the fuel in your tanks is clean, we recommend that you have your fuel polished on a regular basis to prevent damage to your customer’s automobiles or to ensure your emergency services are available at any time.

Our fuel cleaning/polishing service purifies the fuel to engine manufacturers’ standards by removing sludge, rust, and microbial contamination to less than two microns. Water is remoted to less than 100 PPM. This reduces the need to change filters by up to 80 %.


Benefits of Keeping Your Fuel Clean

  • Fewer customer complaints
  • Polishing fuel costs less than replacing contaminated fuel
  • Increases fuel tank longevity by preserving the interior of the fuel tank
  • No dispenser down time
  • No need to have your fuel pumped out because of fuel/water separation, which can cause loss of as much of 300 – 400 gallons of product along with the water
  • No time loss for emergency generators that suck up water and stop working


Fuel Cleaning for Back Up Power Applications

Data center, research labs, hospitals, healthcare facilities, and nursing homes all need to be prepared in an emergency.

We can clean your tanks without any loss off product!


Diesel Issues

Over the past several years, the sulfur content in diesel has gone from 5,000 parts per million to 15 parts per million to comply with emission standards. Reducing the amount of sulfur in diesel fuel makes the fuel vulnerable to microbial growth. The process of removing sulfur from fuel requires removing oxygen and nitrogen and introducing water. When fuel becomes contaminated, the water in diesel fuel becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus, which clogs filters.

Diesel sludge removal is critical for maintaining the integrity of the fuel storage tank and the fuel it contains. Sludge consists of impurities and debris in fuel that settle out over time. Settled-out debris coupled with fuel contaminants lead to sludge buildup. Sludge “falls out” of the fuel and typically collects at the bottom of fuel tanks.


Ethanol Fuel Problems

Phase separation occurs to ethanol-blended gasoline when water is present. The water sinks to the bottom of the tank. Phase separated fuel has low octane and if the alcohol/water mixture gets into the engine, severe damage can occur.

Bulk storage tanks should be regularly inspected, and water should be gently removed to prevent phase separation. High-volume pumping of the fuel/water or transferring this mixture to a holding tank can be a costly mistake. As the product is mixed with water, more and more ethanol is removed causing partial phase separation that can become catastrophic phase separation. Catastrophic phase separation causes damage to petroleum equipment and customer vehicles.

When fuel becomes contaminated and is out of specification, the fuel can’t be sold.