Obtaining Fuel Samples

shutterstock_154847405Where is the best place to obtain a fuel sample?

To get a reading that will be the most effective and the most accurate reading should be taken from the bottom of the tank.  Optic Fuel Clean of CA uses this method as well as the E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency), A.S.T.M. (American Society for Testing and Materials, and many other local and state agencies along with control districts over air pollution.

How Often Should Sampling Fuel be Done?

Fuel should be sampled about once a quarter.  The average sampling is done twice a year, and the EPA recommends cleaning and inspecting yearly.  Microbe can double their population three times an hour, so the quality of fuel rapidly changes.

Does New Fuel Need to be Sampled?

Absolutely!  Of course fuel has been sterilized during the process of refining, but there isn’t a way of really knowing how long the fuel, new or not, was stored, or what type of condition the vessel transporting the fuel is in.

What Products can be Contaminated?

The most susceptible fuel is Diesel, but it’s not the only fuel that can be contaminated.  Here is a list of products that can be affected.

  • Diesel Fuel
  • Insulating Fuel
  • Jet Fuel
  • Cutting Oils
  • Hydraulic Oil
  • Synthetic Oil
  • Ethanol
  • Gasoline
  • Selected Solvents
  • Bio-Diesel


The solution to this contamination is a simple program of removing the contaminates and the water.  Optic Fuel Clean of CA is happy to assist your company keep tanks and fuels free and clean of H.U.M. (Hydrocarbon Utilizing Microorganisms).   


Can Contamination Be Treated?

Can Fuel Contaminated by Organisms be Treated?

The answer is, Yes!  But the contaminated fuel needs to be filtered, and the tank needs to be cleaned.  Our technology for Optic Fuel Clean of CA will clean the tank as well as filter the fuel with its All In One process.  Then by adding algaecide the growth of any additional algae will be majorly slowed down, as well as killing these organisms or bugs.

What Causes the Contamination?  

The contamination is caused by microscopic living cells.  These can be either a mold type fungus, or bacteria.  The same thing will happen with cheese, or bread. Even when you refrigerate these foods, they will still ultimately be contaminated by mold.  So it is with fuel when Hydrocarbon Utilizing Microorganisms begin to colonize.

They will enter your fuel tank either by the fill tubes, the vents, or sucked in due to the way the tank breathes during temperature fluctuation or tank volume.  If your fuel is just sitting in the tank, it is more likely to be contaminated than fuel that is consumed rapidly.  Fuel that is used at a service station with high volume, or used for a generator is less likely to be contaminated.   

Where does the Contamination Originate?  

The contamination can originate from just about everywhere to anywhere.  These organisms are in the soil, the air, as well as the water.  Whenever fuel is handled, contamination can increase.  This can happen anywhere from the high arctic, to tropical areas.

Can These Organisms be Detected?  

There are actually two ways to detect these organisms.  

  1. By Laboratory Testing- This will cost anywhere from $200 to $700.  
  2. Visual Observation- A build of of black, reddish, or green substances with foul smell will be seen on and around the fuel filters. Optic Fuel Clean of CA can take a sample right from the tank, and put it into a clear container.  That way you can see the contamination for yourself.  

Contact us to learn more about our Optic Fuel Clean of CA treatment!

Are there organisms in your petroleum products?

Believe it or not, there are organisms that reside in your petroleum products. The most common ones are Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Cladosporium Resinae. These organisms are either water or air borne.

What do they do?

These bugs (organisms) multiply and live in the fuel/water interface. They live in the water, and are feed themselves with the hydrocarbons that exists in the fuel. Many refer to these as H.U.M. (Hydrocarbon Utilizing Microorganisms). They form dark gel like mats as they grow. The sludge, water, acids and other harmful by products are produced from the waste of these organisms. These bugs will consume O Rings, tank linings, rubber gaskets, and coatings so they can reach their mineral content.

Will they harm equipment?
The bugs will pose a major threat to your equipment! When they establish themselves in the fuel, they double in population every twenty minutes! Then they form a hazardous slime that is either green, brown, or black. This dangerous slime will-
Corrode injectors and pumps
Clog fuel lines, gauges, and fuel filters.
Cause hoses, washers, and connectors to blister and swell.
Cause poor fuel economy due to degraded fuel.

This type of contamination can also keep particulate and water from settling away from the fuel. These organisms can also cause major equipment failure, which results in excessive downtime. There may also be back up equipment power outages.

Contact Us to learn more!