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Biological growth in ULSD and Biodiesel. This can affect you!

WarWagon

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EDIT UPDATE 4/11/17:
I no longer recommend burning as much of the corrosive wet fuel as you can due to further Injection System damage let alone clogged filter cost. Dispose of the "What used to be fuel" away as waste oil depending on local disposal laws.




ULSD is more prone to infection of bacteria and fungus than the old diesel of the past.
Biodiesel appears to allow this stuff to grow even faster.

After the Water In Fuel light went on I pulled fuel from the FFM into a glass jar. It had some water in the bottom. 2 days later it had white 1" strings of white cr@p growing off the water to fuel interface. The Walbro pump screen was plugged with snot and the main filter was nasty smelling.

I burned off as much fuel as possible. Then dropped the tank, sucked the remaining water and fuel out and then used a long pole with a washcloth zip tied on the end as a giant q-tip to swab down the tank. Steam cleaning is preferred. Then you need to clean the lines up to the first filter. The fuel pickup tube in the tank can have a good build up of the bug slime. This is round 3 with this stuff so a tank sock will just cause you trouble and make draining the tank harder in the future should the bugs come back.

Biocide added to the fuel will kill the bugs. They then clump and coat the tank bottom making you reach for a new fuel filter. Disposing of 34 gal of fuel may be cheaper than filters. I tossed 7 gal from the above issue and 2 filters. You put the biocide in after burning as much fuel as possible as quickly as possible as they can double their numbers in 20 min! You then drop the tank to clean it, change filters and clean out the FFM. Biocide in the FFM and tank before new fuel. Run the biocide through the transfer pump you used to clean out the tank as it is infected now too.

Note: the bugs usually ruin the fuel level sensors so replace them while you are there and forget about putting a tank sock on again! You will need a strainer before the lift pump that is easy to change around 40 micron max particle size. LeroyDiesel.com has fuel level sensors that do not get ruined by the bugs, build up, and acids present in contaminated fuel. Seriously his sensor has outlived a Walbro under this abuse.

More info on biocide and the problem:

http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/p/diesel-biocides.html
 
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WarWagon

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Couple days left alone the fuel and water drained from the FFM. This was a clean jar. You see the water and fuel with the white stuff growing between the fuel and water. Water, dirty, is on the bottom of course.

100_3300.jpg

Here is a second sample after biocide was added. No, I am not running used engine oil. The Biocide turns infected diesel and water black. It also stinks.

100_3294 - Copy.jpg

Tank socks, bottom of fuel tank, and filters when it is really bad.
brown stuff.jpg

Yes, it can eat the lining off the tank.
DSCN1173.jpg

wax.jpg
No, that is NOT sand in the drain pan. It is bug poo, dead bugs, and bad fuel that has clumped into a grease like abrasive.
 

schiker

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Thanks good read with some new details (for me) and some good explanations I haven't heard before.

I didnt' know bugs could get so small. Some good common sense info and decent take on some practices.

I have only gotten bad fuel twice that I know of in about 15 yrs (6 yrs of 6.5 driving and 9 yrs of buying fuel for my farm tractor). One time I could smell the old stale fuel (smelled like rotten eggs) but the other time I had no indication of bad fuel until WIF light came on. The horror stories scare you but most fuel is good. BUT it only takes a small infection or one bad tank to get ya and it can happen at any time.

Even if you don't think lubricity additives are needed I think fuel additives are good periodically to help keep the system clean.
 

WarWagon

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Update:

Bottom line is to run biocide in your tank once and awhile esp if your fuel stations use bio in any concentration.

I cured this issue by using powerservice BIO KLEEN and lucas oil biomedic... I also quit using biodiesel and don't miss the trouble. (Killem was not effective at all as it falls to the bottom of the tank.) Biodiesel is like brake fluid and suspends enough water for bugs to grow IN the fuel not just at the bottom of the tank water layer. So you need a biocide that mixes with the fuel when dealing with any bio concentration.

A CAT water pre-filter saved the injection system on the 1995. You could see the difference in the fuel before and after the CAT filter. GM's filters are worthless for water protection. Including the Duramax filters. GM still hasn't f%^&* learned!

The 1993 started to get hot start issues and cold start issues. The injectors were replaced and so was the IP. Internal corrosion was on everything in the IP making it worthless even for a core. Couple fuel tanks were replaced, one aux tank took a shop 2 weeks to clean out, couple lift pumps, and lots of filters. I have a 1" stack of parts receipts. I just got the 1993 running decent from this mess.

Biodiesel is more prone to bug infections.

Biodiesel will soak up water so make sure the tanks and deliveries do not have water in them. The totes I was getting had some leftover water in them I tried to drain out on delivery. I guess from cleaning and sloppy drying practices.

I found out from testing my supplier wasn't supplying ASTM biodiesel as they failed a recent state test. Despite their own testing and claims that they were. :cussing:

Biodiesel can be added to regular diesel up to 5% without a label on the pump. :eek:

So cost being slightly cheaper at times never broke even with the 10% reduction of MPG. Add parts and the issues I had make biodiesel a very bad choice. I blame the supplier's lack of quality control and ignorance of their own product more than anything. I went through around 3000 gal :eek: (yeah, a lot for 1 pickup.) of the stuff without issues in past years then this happened.
 

Drago

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I'm running homebrew BioD, I haven't had a prob but I use it faster than I can make it so it's not in the tank or storage very long. I've been using Diesel Kleen about every other tank when I was using pump Diesel. Do you guys think I need to keep using the Diesel Kleen?
 

WarWagon

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I'm running homebrew BioD, I haven't had a prob but I use it faster than I can make it so it's not in the tank or storage very long. I've been using Diesel Kleen about every other tank when I was using pump Diesel. Do you guys think I need to keep using the Diesel Kleen?
No. But I would run some biocide - it is cheap enough at the required dose to be near free.
 

WarWagon

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Bump. Looks like 2-3 people have run into this recently.
 

Dave01

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I'm very tempted to run biodiesel in my latest 6.5, a '98 extended cab long bed that we are getting into running order right now. The 2 tank wvo system on my Suburban was fun at the time, but I won't go there again on a 6.5. So, have given bio some thought but reading threads like this make me wonder if it's worth it.

Did you change out any fuel lines in order to run bio? Return lines?
 

Will L.

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Even if you're buying "regular" number two diesel, A lot of refineries mix in small amount of biodiesel with it. They do it because they can buy it from small bio manufacturers at barely over the price of crude oil and they get tax incentives for using it. 0.005% biofuel is enough to keep bugs alive. in some states that don't offer the tax incentives, it is cheaper to buy it and added in then to produce diesel fuel then go through the desulfurization process in order to meet ULSD standards.

Running a small amount that comes at the gas pump is not as susceptible as most home brew. It is still a good idea to occasionally run some corrective measure just to play it safe. I also recommend everyone when they replace rubber fuel lines to use bio rated, because it will last longer even under conventional fuel use anyways.
 

WarWagon

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I'm very tempted to run biodiesel in my latest 6.5, a '98 extended cab long bed that we are getting into running order right now. The 2 tank wvo system on my Suburban was fun at the time, but I won't go there again on a 6.5. So, have given bio some thought but reading threads like this make me wonder if it's worth it.

Did you change out any fuel lines in order to run bio? Return lines?
Drago and I have both experienced the old factory tank lining coming off with Biodiesel use. My "troublesome" biodiesel was from a local refiner that uses waste fryer oil and virgin oil. When I need Biodiesel now I go elsewhere and my source is all from virgin oil made somewhere back east and costs way more than #2 per gal. (I only need it for emissions and avoid it like the expensive plague it was now.)

You need to use a biocide that dissolves in fuel, not the outdated "fall to the bottom of the tank" to treat the water there products like Killem. Switch the brand up now and then so the 'immune' bugs get wiped out with something else. Gasoline also kills bugs - (bugs are: mold, yeast, bacteria.) I use:

BIO KLEEN® DIESEL FUEL BIOCIDE : A dual-phase biocide to kill microbes, bacteria and fungus. Dual-Phase — effective in both diesel fuel and water...
http://www.powerservice.com/bk/

Lucas Bio Medic Fuel Sterilizer - appears to be discontinued and has poor labeling as to the dose and if it is dual layer or not.
http://www.grainger.com/product/LUCAS-OIL-PRODUCTS-Fuel-Sterilizer-4KAW9

The higher % of Biodiesel you run the more water the biodiesel can hold in suspension. Just add #2 diesel to saturated B99 and watch the water drop out to the bottom of the tank and trip the WIF light.

The factory lift pump will have a short life with biodiesel as the seals in it are not compatible - neither are most replacement lift pumps factory or otherwise. The Walbro pumps are compatible. The new injector return line appear compatible. You will need to replace the return line rubber hoses, the IP to FMM hose, and both hoses on the back of the engine. Even then the bio rated hose can have a short life, become soft, and kink stopping the engine from fuel starvation.

***Links are for information/examples only.
 

Dave01

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Thanks for all that info! I do have a source of high quality BD, made from wvo, not virgin. I'm really beginning to think I'll stay away for now, maybe if I get back to running a lot of miles in the truck I'll reconsider.

There just aren't many (any?) ways to save on fuel dollars. The wvo I ran was a lot of fun as a project, but certainly didn't save me any money, likely the opposite. I did enjoy running it, and put a lot of miles on the Sub running wvo, but at that time I was putting more miles on in big chunks, ideal for running wvo. Same with BD, good quality from a plant will cost pretty much the same as diesel, and home brew projects are not likely to save money in the long run.
 

hookedup50

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Per WW request, and after getting a buggy batch of fuel my FP went from 12# to 5# and I started to get fishbite at moderate to heavy acceleration and could tell it was gonna happen when guage hit 4pounds. Guage is using Leroy bolt at top of FFM. Anyway I couldn't find any biocide locally, and got Hammonds Biobor(Amazom) in part cause it said it would clear the snot off the filters saving me tank removal and sock removal due to back surgury(Finally had procedure and have less physical capability for a while). The stuff comes in a bottle like Stabil sio you can meter the dose accurately. It cleared the hesitation within 200 miles and using it as maintenance additive now, cause not sure of bad fuel source. I am still planning on installing Leroy filter and Walbro when feeling better., but something actually did what it said goes a long way in my book given my situation. Thanks again WW for this thread and all the other knowledge you give us.
 

WarWagon

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Per Hammonds Biobor website it has the most important requirement : dual phase! Killing the bugs in the fuel because modern ULSD and Bio mixes hold enough water suspended in the fuel for the bugs to grow in fuel. Just like brake fluid adsorbs water.

The second thing to remember is to switch it up now and then to make sure you kill the bugs that get an immunity or new bugs. A test kit for your infection can confirm the product you overnight shipped is killing the bugs. Time is critical in an infection to keep the mess down.

http://www.biobor.com/products/biobor-jf-fuel-additives/
Dual Phase - soluble in both water and fuel phases for a more effective kill
 

hookedup50

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I got the bug detector as well from Hammond, just havent used it. I still have not decided on secondary biocide for the resistant ones. I think you mention Boikleen from powerstation.
 

WarWagon

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Ran across the photos of my 1993 IP that was ruined by the bad Biodiesel. Same fuel after a CAT water Separator filter did NOT ruin the Injection system on the 1995.

This is what corrosive and wet from bug infection fuel does to an injection pump.

93IP_ate_by_biodiesel_bugs.JPG
 

WarWagon

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The CAT 256-8753 fuel/water separator is what saved the injection system on the 1995. The fuel was literally a different color, clearer, on the clean side of it. I can never find this number when I need it.

cat.jpg
 
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