A retrieval line is attached to the Aqua-Zorb absorbent cell in a fuel tank.
A retrieval line is attached to the Aqua-Zorb absorbent cell in a fuel tank.

Water is, arguably, the most damaging contaminant to be found in any fuel tank. It can also be the cause of many other contamination problems of varying levels. Problems can be caused by condensation, poor quality fuel delivery and transfer process and leaking tanks.

With larger volumes of free water, microbial growth can be rapid, which encourages the growth of algae, fuel bugs and other contaminants which can cause significant damage to an engine. Diesel powered equipment, generators and emergency standby pumps rely on having pure, clean diesel fuel in the tank. The ultra-fine tolerances of today's super-efficient diesel engines mean they are

extremely sensitive to any fuel contamination or fuel quality problems. Some of the most powerful engines and generator systems have been brought to a standstill by something as simple as bacteria. Poor quality fuel can create filter blockage, engine failure and damage to engine components. Water can wreak havoc on fuel pumps and injector systems.

Water-free cells

Aqua-Zorb has developed a product which helps to eliminate the age-old problem of free water contamination in fuel tanks. It consists of an inert, non-toxic chemical contained within a cell which is made from a specially coated material. The cell absorbs free water from fuel and holds it there. The cell can then be easily removed along with the water using its retrieval line. The Aqua-Zorb water free cells, along with some of today's additives and maintenance products, can improve the quality of fuel and keep it clean and efficient.

Successful testing

Removing free water can help to eliminate the growth of algae and fuel bugs in all kinds of above and below ground fuel storage tanks. The cells were tested in five different types of fuel all of which suffer from similar storage problems. They included diesel, petrol, paraffin and aviation fuels. The tests were performed by independent laboratories and the results showed that the cells were highly efficient at removing water from all of these fuels.

The product was sent to agricultural laboratories to be tested for disposal. This was done by one of the highest bodies in the UK and, if the instructions are adhered to, the product can be disposed of safely, without any environmental issues, in the domestic waste.

Industry feedback

A major fuel company, Wessex Petroleum, has recently had problems with free water contamination in some of their customer's fuel tanks. The tanks were situated at marinas and were therefore exposed to water ingress and were difficult to access. Aqua-Zorb's water free cells were put to work and Wessex Petroleum reported that the cells were quick and easy to install, and so removed the need for specialist access to the tanks and the cells were effective at eliminating all the water in the tanks. As a result, there was a huge saving for the company in terms of arranging and carrying out manned entry tank cleaning and increased the safety of their engineers because the cells completely removed the need to enter the tanks.

Additional feedback from Volvo UK Construction was also very positive. It highlighted the fact that, even with water separators fitted to the storage tanks, the problem of free water was so serious that the separators alone could not handle it. After the introduction of The Aqua-Zorb water free cell, the problem was resolved and the water was successfully removed from the tanks.Further feedback from other companies shows that the Aqua-Zorb water free cells are proving to be a very popular, low cost preventative maintenance product.

Many forward-thinking companies are of the opinion that prevention is far better than cure and that the implementation of an effective, low cost maintenance tool is much better than having to deal with long term consequences of water contamination. The company hopes that is product will go some way towards helping to combat this problem.

Aqua-Zorb currently has five distributors, four in the UK and one overseas, all of whom have a vast amount of knowledge and expertise in the filtration industry. The company is currently looking for filtration companies and tank cleaning companies to take the product forward and offer it to all kinds of industries as a low cost maintenance tool, which could help save thousands of pounds.