Frequently Asked Questions

About the Optic Fuel Cleaning System

How does Optic Fuel Cleaning clean fuel?
Our system uses a patent-pending approach to fuel inspection, filtering and restoration. A fiber-optic scope is inserted into a fuel tank (underground or small-capacity aboveground, 20’ limit) to provide a view and positive confirmation of the tank bottom condition. The scope is integrated with an extraction system.

If discolored fuel (e.g., a gasoline blend fouled by water) is evident, the technician can begin suction in the affected area. This is also true for tank bottoms that exhibit bacterial colonies, loose sediment and other types of contamination commonly found in fuel storage tanks.

Extracted fuel is routed to a five-stage filtration process, which removes impurities. After filtering, the restored fuel is returned to the tank and contaminated liquids are sent to holding containers for disposal or removal.

Technicians can repeat the process until the visual inspection provides confidence to the tank owner-manager, or on-site representative, that the fuel is as clean as possible.

How much of the tank gets cleaned?
The system primarily covers the very bottom of the tank, which is where most fuel-quality problems occur.

Residue from interior tank surfaces in most cases is heavier than the fuel, so it eventually drifts or settles to the bottom forming sludge.

It’s important to note: Optic Fuel Cleaning is not a tank-cleaning technology. It is a fuel-cleaning technology that may have some benefits related to interior tank cleaning (e.g., the suction removal of microbial contamination or loose sludge on a tank bottom).

How does Optic Fuel Cleaning differ from high-pressure power-washing of a tank interior?
These are two very different processes. Our system does not involve manned entry of a fuel tank. Our system does not inject water, biocides or solvents of any sort into a tank.

For an older tank suspected of having substantial deposits of hardened residue at the bottom, our system can provide a visual confirmation of such buildup. The visual evidence may be important in determining whether to proceed with an expensive power-washing procedure.

Can Optic Fuel Cleaning equipment fit in both a 4-inch and a 2-inch tank opening?
Yes. Our System has the ability to clean fuel on tanks that have both standard fitting sizes.

What are the smallest capacity tanks, and the largest, that Optic Fuel Cleaning can be used on?
We can inspect and clean small 300 gal tanks such as farmers above ground tanks and can inspect and clean underground tanks up to 40,000 gal. We also can clean vertical above ground tanks with a height limit of 20’

How does Optic Fuel Cleaning fit into a regular tank maintenance program?
Our System was designed to enhance and complement maintenance programs for underground and above ground storage tanks. Our sales representatives can provide information on three-year programs that provide peace of mind for tank owners-managers about fuel quality issues.

How does Optic Fuel Cleaning help station owners who are considering the conversion of a gasoline tank to the storage of E85 (85-percent ethanol) fuel?
The Optic Fuel Cleaning experience has shown that it’s best to clean the fuel in the tank to be converted shortly before the last load is depleted. This will remove as much loose residue as possible before the introduction of the E85.

The high alcohol content of the E85 will very likely act as a solvent upon introduction to the existing tank – thereby releasing gums and residues creating some new debris.

We recommend a follow-up visit about two to three weeks after the E85 conversion for another inspection – and cleaning, if necessary.

What type of post-cleaning report is provided to the customer? What data points are covered?
One of our representatives will provide a report to the tank owner-manager upon completion of the work. The report will list the tanks inspected, the amount of fuel on hand, the type of fuel, and any cleaning work that has been provided.

In addition, the report will cite the method of access (e.g., fill pipe) and what was found to be present at the tank bottom: sludge, water, bacteria or mixed contamination. Among other details, the report will show how many gallons of contaminated liquid were removed from the tank system, and whether a physical cleaning of the tank is recommended.

How does Optic Fuel Cleaning determine “how clean is clean?”
Our technicians rely on the proven technology of fiber optics to provide a reliable view of fuel restoration. In cleaning more than 1,500 fuel tanks, there have been a handful of times when a return trip to a fueling facility was required.

We allow the camera to do what it does best – looking inside to visually show what needs to be extracted and filtered. For tank owners who encounter an ongoing problem after a Optic Fuel Cleaning inspection and cleaning, we will make every effort to return as quickly as possible.