Why Use Additives?

BIODIESEL

The use of Biodiesel is constantly increasing. Biofuel and Biodiesel are actually the same product, in that each consists of a ratio of soy bean oil to the heating fuel and diesel respectively. Soy bean oil the most commonly used form of Biodiesel. A major advantage of Biofuels is that the soy bean portion is a renewable resource, thereby contributing to a reduction in dependence on foreign oil and morc importantly, a decrease in harmful emissions.

As of October 1,2005, the state of Minnesota enacted a law stating that all diesel fuel sold in the state will contain no less, but not limited to, 2% soy or vegetable oil.

The most common forms of Biodiesel for on-road and off-road or heating oil are B5 and B-20, which contain 5% and 20% soy bean oil concentration.

Soy bean oil used in fuels is produced by a process called esterfication via a batch to batch process. Each batch varies in terms of quality. The oil from the crushed soy beans is filtered, and then reached with sodium hydroxide (common lye similar to that used to clean drains). The oil is then rinsed with alcohol to complete the final product.

Despite the higher price of Biodiesel, everyone is touting its use. However, there are some documented and reported problems with the use of Biodiesel of which customers should be aware so as to recognize or prevent their occurrence.

Biodiesel acts as a detergent when first introduced into existing storage tanks. It disperses any old sludge that has settled at the bottom of the tank, which in turn resolves any filter plugging problems. Expect to see the dispersion of sludge during the first few loads after switching to Biodiesel.

Biodiesel, specifically B-20, has 117,000 BTU per gallon of fuel. That can be compared to 131,000 BTU per gallon of normal heating oil or diesel fuel. During over the road operation, there is a loss of power, and the mpg decreases from 0.5 to 1.0 mile per gallon.

The quality of Biodiesel varies because there is no standard quality control test for the soy bean oil producers. The finished product has at one time been cloudy as well as leaking from the Biodiesel mixture and then only re-dissolves when heated to 100 degrees. The product has also been proven to contain excessive alcohol. This has an adverse consequence on the auto ignition temperature of the fuel by causing the engine to run rather roughly.

Biodiesel wants to absorb water so that it can maintain the water as a milky emulsion. However, in cold temperatures, the liquid can form ice and cause operating problems.

Water in Biodiesel could be in the emulsion form or the free form. In either form, the water may promote the growth of bacteria and fungi. Bacteria growths blossom very quickly, and if they are not controlled, they can cause massive filter plugging.

The most common form of Biodiesel, B-20 does not flow well in cold weather. At temperatures around +50 degrees F, it forms a thick and cloudy bio-mass. Some Biodiesel suppliers do not recommend its use during the winter months. Most of the competitive cold flow and anti-gel additives do not improve the flow of B-20.

We at Petrolabs Plus, would like you to know that the use of our BIODIESEL B20 ADDITIVE products can help you combat some of these potential cold weather flow problems. The B20 additive contains a polymer anti-gel which prevents gelling in conditions under 0 degrees and water dispersant which absorbs water into the fuel for combustion. The additive also contains sludge dispersant which disperses impurities in fuel and reduces the future occurrence of filter plugging.

Judging by tests done in our laboratories, our flow improver products outperform every other anti-gel product on the market, including: Power Service, Howes, Stanadyne, Lucas, Penray. The performance of the FUEL POWER B20 Additive can be attributed to its unique viscosity modifier which is added to the formula to dramatically improve diesel fuel in cold weather. Our product even works on 100 percent soy bean oil. No other additive company at the present time has the technology to do that.

BIOCIDE

Bacteria is in everything we can see, touch and yes, even eat. Most of the time, Bacteria goes through its normal life and death cycle without causing any problems, however, when it grows beyond control it present serious problems.

Bacteria in fuel oil (heating, #2 Diesel or # 4) can cause numerous problems if not controlled. Plugged filters, plugged fuel lines, corrosion of metals in contact with fuel, faster aging of Fuel and corrosion of metal tanks are some of the more obvious problems.

We present some suggestions treatment based on following:

  • How to identify bacteria in fuel oil or determine if a potential for growth exists.
  • How HUM Out works
  • How HUM Out compares to the competition, especially Bibor.

Lets examine how bacteria growths develop in any type of Fuel oil storage tank. All storage tanks are vented t.o the atmosphere. If these tanks were not vented, they would collapse as the fuel level is drawn down. This venting process, pulls in outside air that contains humidity and airborne, microscopic, bacteria spores. The fuel oil tank and fuel are usually cooler than the outside air and the humidity condenses into water droplets. Since water is 8.4 pounds per gallon and #2 diesel 7.3 pounds per gallon, the heavier water collects under the fuel and forms an interface of fuel and water. The microscopic bacteria spores will collect in the moisture on the exposed inside tank surfaces or be carried with the condensed water underneath the fuel. It is possible to have aerobic (needing air) bacteria and fungi growing above the oil surface on the sides of the tank and anaerobic (not needing air) bacteria growing at the interface of the oil and water layer.

How to identify bacterial growth or determine the potential for growth:

The most accurate method to determine if growth has or does exist is the plugging or deposits on the fuel filter located between the storage tank and the fuel use tank. Mats of bacteria on sides the tank or at the water-fuel interface, grow and become large enough to get loose, and are pumped through the filter and plug. If a facility (marina, terminal, ship, truck stop, etc.) has experienced filter plugging in the warmer months of the year, they have a bacteria problem.

Inspecting the fuel storage tank through a manhole or inspection port might show growth on sides of the tank. If these growths are visual, then there are more growths (under the oil) that are not visible.

The warmer the outside temperatures, the warmer the fuel (and water) and the faster growth of bacteria. In warm, humid climates, it has been estimated the bacteria counts (measured in 100,000 counts per 1 ml. of water sample) double every 4-6 hours.

The question often arises as to a sample of water, from under the fuel can be tested to confirm anaerobic bacteria. The answer is no. Infield testing cannot confirm anaerobic bacteria. This type of bacteria does not need air or light to grow (algae needs both air and light!) and if anaerobic bacteria is exposed to air and light it is destroyed, thus taking a water sample and exposing it to air and light will kill the anaerobic bacteria and produce inaccurate counts.

The technical approach to determining bacteria growth is the past history of filter plugging in warm weather and (if possible) visual tank inspection. The ideal result is to feed HUM OUT at 1 ounce to 120 gallons of fuel oil (stored) to eliminate any potential problem.

Do not be too surprised if after the addition of HUM OUT filters start to get plugged frequently. This shows bacteria is being killed and tank is in the process of getting sterilized.

The best time to start using HUM OUT is when the tanks are low. Estimate the fuel oil gallons in the tank, add to that the quantity of gallons of fuel to be delivered, divide by 120 and this will give you the quantity of ounces of HUM OUT to be fed.

Add the calculated quantity of ounces of HUM OUT to the almost empty tank just prior to filling this allows for mixing, the most important aspect in helping the product work best. If bacteria is known to be present, double the treatment dose.

How Hum Out works

Most biocides (old technology and chemistry) rely on the use of very toxic components to kill. This is the case of Biobor, an extensively used biocide developed almost 25 years ago, by US Borax.

Biobor is 95% active organic boron complexes and 5% petroleum naphtha (naphtha, mineral spirits or Kerosene) The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is taking a long hard look at boron, borax and borate ingredients because they are known pollutants. It is possible Biobor may be recalled by the EPA.

Hum Out, on the other hand, is 30 % active ingredients and 70% inert. Thus, it would appear Biobor has a higher level of ingredients and should, therefore, have a faster-better kill rate. Not so! In the 25 since Biobor was developed, biochemists have developed newer biocides and organic reaction products more effective with lower concentrations and lower feed rates.

The attached picture of a "typical" bacteria shows a gelatin type protective film (capsule) around the living portion of the cell. The cell absorbs nutrients through their layers and through the flagellum. Bacteria needs both water and fuel to grow and reproduce. They actually excrete sulfuric acid as part of their life cycle, which is corrosive to metal storage tanks.

Two aspects make Hum Out unique

First: The 70% inert portion of HUM OUT is a special balanced blend of non ionic wetting agents and surfactants to allow HUM OUT to penetrate the cell walls of the bacteria. This provides a faster kill, a more complete kill and easier mixing for ultimate contact.

Also (what happen to the dead bacteria-slime?) the dispersant and wetting agents disperse the dead bacteria to reduce filter plugging. All bacteria is 90-95% water, when killed the bacteria releases the water and small residue is further dispersed by the surfactants.

Second: HUM OUT is soluble (dissolved) in both Fuel Oil and water. However, only 25 ppm (0.0025 %) is soluble in the water phase (we only need 8 ppm for complete bacteria kill) As with any biocide, as HUM OUT kills, is consumed, and any portion that is not consumed, starts to degrade. In time, it changes into a different by-product. This causes the 25ppm concentration to decrease and when this happens, more Hum Out moves from the oil phase to the water phase to maintain 25ppm and provide a long term time kill or a better statement is HUM OUT provides a "time release" kill.

How HUM OUT comrares to the competition especially Biobor:

There are many products in the market and fuel additives that claim to be a Fuel biocide or claim to remove water thus preventing the medium for bacterial growth.

For a product to be a biocide, it must show 3 things on the label:

  • The active ingredients
  • The EPA Registration Number (EPA Reg. # 31910-2-5573)
  • An EPA establishment Number (EPA Est. # 63940-PA-001)

A biocide must contain all 3 of them, NO claims, No exceptions. A product that makes biocide claims but does not meet these 3 criteria is not an EPA approved Biocide, and probably, not a Biocide.

Since its inception in the later 1960's, Biobor has been the accepted means of treating various types of fuel to prevent bacterial and fungi growth.

With the advances in organic chemistry over the past 30 years, new raw materials and manufacturing processes have led to the development of an improved product that has recently been approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This new product called HUM Out is the first important Improvement in preventing biological growth in fuel in thirty years.

The active ingredients Biobor are organic Boron complexes that total 95% of the product and is typically applied at a maintenance dosage rate of 1 ounce each 70-75 gallons of #2 Diesel fuel. HUM Out utilizes the advanced chemistry of organic sulfur compounds with much higher activity levels against all forms of bacteria in oil and water. HUM Out does not discharge any toxic (boron) compounds into the atmosphere. The typical maintenance dosage of HUM Out is one (1) ounce per 120 gallons of #2 diesel fuel, thus, it is 60% more concentrated than Biobor.

Biobor dissolves equally in the oil water phase of any tank being treated. While this sounds an ideal situation, it is not. Once any biocide is dissolved in water its activity level is decreased in time which is a part of an aging process. While this aging process might take days, the effectiveness of activity of Biobor to keep killing bacteria decreases.

HUM Out is unique in its ability to provide a continuous "time release" approach. HUM Out is mostly all soluble in the fuel phase but a small amount (25pptn) is soluble in the water phase so a slight residual is left to continue to kill and, unfortunately, age. As this 25ppm of HUM Out is soluble in the water phase it only takes 8-10 ppm of HUM Out to destroy bacteria in the water phase so a slight residual is left to continue to kill and, unfortunately, age. As this 25ppm of HUM Out is consumed while killing and aging, more HUM Out from the oil phase dissolvesinto the water phase to maintain the 25 ppm thus dissolved a "timed"  controlled level of activity.

HUM Out has a higher level of "kill" ability against more forms of bacteria, fungi and related micro-organisms than Biobor, and offers two distinct physical advantages. First, it does not cause foaming of #2 diesel fuel and second, a wetting agent is incorporated to provide superior mixing with fuel at all temperatures.

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