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pdqaltair 03-06-2013 06:24 PM

Diesel fuel and bottoms water pH
I'm finishing an article and some testing regarding diesel fuel additives and corrosion. One of the surprises was that in tanks with the most severe corrosion--they were leaking in some cases, and in another the sending unit was destroyed--the pH of the bottoms water was very low, like vinegar. They didn't display gross evidence of corrosion--the usual snot deposits--but I'm certain that was the cause, somewhere in the fuel supply train.

Salt contamination was also present. Sandy and past storms that submerged fuel dock tanks, perhaps.

Has anyone on this forum ever tested the pH of the water they drain from the Raycor, for example? Or tested for salt? Just curious how widespread the problem might be. We only saw a few cases of extreme contamination, but in each case there was trouble.


Though most of my boating experiences is with gasoline engines, I am an API tank inspector and have seen countless cases of sour water destroying 1/4-inch thick tanks in 5-15 years. Most oil field tanks are epoxy lined these days; that is what I would do if specifying a diesel tank.

jameswilson29 03-06-2013 08:55 PM

Re: Diesel fuel and bottoms water pH
Another good reason for periodic fuel polishing and tank cleaning.

pdqaltair 03-06-2013 09:51 PM

Re: Diesel fuel and bottoms water pH
True. By reducing suspended water and also reducing biomass growth.

But unless your draw is DEAD bottom that won't eliminate a thin layer of water on the bottom and the possibility of pitting through. Sloshing underway will also help, if there are some effective corrosion inhibitors on board. But not at the lowest point.

It's not so much how much water, but whether it is sour, and that doesn't seem to take many bacteria.

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