Types of Fuel Contamination

Fuel is an essential component in day-to-day activities, but there are many types of fuel contamination you need to look out for. Despite the advancing technology, fuel contamination is still a problem today. Some entrepreneurs also sell poor-quality fuel in an attempt to earn a living. Typically, different factors bring about this situation.

When fuel is stored in dirty tanks, chances are contamination might happen. Storage is one of the crucial factors when it comes to oil. Generally, impure oil is one of the leading causes of clogging of the fuel filter. It also damages the fuel pump in machines; hence the engine does not get adequate oil. It is thus essential to ensure your oil does not go stale. This is particularly true when talking about aviation fuel. Conidia Bioscience (https://conidia.com/jet-fuel-contamination/) offer expert advice and insight into keeping your fuel contamination-free.

Types of Fuel Contamination

Microbial Growth

Microorganisms that are in both air and water may also contaminate fuel. Microorganism always finds their way in even the best-kept tanks. However, removing moisture and using biocides helps minimize their growth. Microbial growth in fuels is mainly due to water found in fuels. The water in fuel offers suitable conditions for these microorganisms to thrive.

Microorganisms such as fungi may sometimes excrete some acidic produce. The produce may corrode the metal, causing the production of suspended solids in the fuel. Corrosion of fuel tanks may also lead to fuel leakage, leading to fuel fires, which can be fatal. It can also lead to an explosion. Fungi may also cause blockage of pipes filters, thus leading to incorrect readings. In addition, microbial contamination also leads to sludge formation. Sludge may block the filters and damage the pumping system, resulting in expensive repairs, leading to engine failure. The blocking of the fuel pump by microorganisms can restrict fuel flow, which can be catastrophic, especially if the fuel does not reach the engine when an aircraft is in mid-air. In planes fuel tanks made from aluminium alloys, microbial growth is a significant cause of corrosion of the tank linings. Therefore, regular testing must be done to avoid catastrophe.

Water Contamination

Water can get into fuels in varying ways. One of the significant causes of water in fuel is moisture in the air. Notably, the air in the atmosphere may find its way through the holes or vents in the storage unit or tanks. Water can also find its way into storage tanks through damaged gas cap seals exposed to rain. Some people also add water to fuel so that they may earn better profits. They ignore the fact that it may endanger other people’s lives.

Water causes rust and corrosion of all iron components, leading to decay that causes the breakdown of fuel nozzles over time. In addition, water in fuel at high altitudes causes blocking of fuel pipelines, thus limiting fuel flow to the engine. Water also provides suitable conditions for the growth of microorganisms. Microorganisms feed on hydrocarbons in the fuel, lowering the quality of the fuel. Contaminated fuel by water may lead to engine failure, or the vehicle may start to experience issues such as loss of power and involuntary change of speeds. It may eventually lead to the breakdown of the engine.


Particles like dust, rust, bugs and insects may find their way to the fuel. Microbial by-products may also find their way into fuel. Water in fuel tanks can also cause rusting, which may eventually find its way into the fuel. These particles clog the filters, and they may find their way into the engine if there is no proper maintenance and regular checking.

Types of Fuel Contamination Parting Words

Fuel contamination can cause a lot of damage to your machines and even endanger human lives. Luckily, you can avoid fuel contamination by minimizing the presence of water in the fuel. Since water is the primary contaminant of fuel, regular testing has to be done to ensure minimal or no water. The use of biocides to kill microorganisms and regularly checking the filters can also help prevent fuel contamination. Always ensure that you have replaced all damaged filters to avoid contamination.

Amanda Kremer