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Fuel Polishing Kit


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All the talk of contaminated diesel these days made me think about a diagram I once saw (poss. ASAP supplies) for a fuel polishing kit. From memory it used a couple of filters from their range plus an electric fuel pump; not exactly rocket science. I think it connected to the tank drain and returned via the normal return line, but could be used via a pickup pipe through the filler.

I'll get to the point now; has anybody ever made one or similar and did it work?

Cheers.

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All the talk of contaminated diesel these days made me think about a diagram I once saw (poss. ASAP supplies) for a fuel polishing kit. From memory it used a couple of filters from their range plus an electric fuel pump; not exactly rocket science. I think it connected to the tank drain and returned via the normal return line, but could be used via a pickup pipe through the filler.

I'll get to the point now; has anybody ever made one or similar and did it work?

Cheers.

 

Yes ASAP did a technical article promoting a 'polishing kit' back in the summer. It was a confusing article though which didn't really define the intems in the kit. Had it done so, I'd prolly have bought one, but I didn't as I couldn't determine if the kit contained everything needed to polish my 200 litres of dodgy fuel and water!

 

MtB

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Cheers mike,thought I had seen one. It would be easy to implement on my boat because I already have a leccy pump. With a valve system and a couple of filters, I could just take a line from the tank drain and job done.

Are they special filters for this job?

Edited by Guest
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Realistically a good engineer of some years probably has all the bits in the scrap box! Pump, separators and filters with some piping should complete the kit. then it's a matter of watching the separators and draining off the water while they are not over filled. Two hoses through the fuel cap should cause the tank to agitate sufficiently.

 

You may need care as separators are usually to take drops of water out but the recent crop of fuel incidents seems to indicate several litres of water needing removing from tanks holding 20 - 200 litres of fuel.

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The rig usually consists of a 12 volt high volume pump, two filters in series, one including a water trap, and a pressure gauge. The first filter is a re-usable one of about 100 microns, the second can take a finer mesh re-usable filter or a finer still disposable one of about 10 micron. A solid pickup pipe is connected via flexible hose to the pump. The return pipe pipe is connected back to the tank via maybe a breather union. In this way fuel is continually circulated, with solids at the bottom churned up into suspension. The polishing is best performed with tank around one third full.

 

When I last had this done, the only tank access was through the fuel level sender hole around 45mm diameter. After hooking up rig & running pump the first filter clogged up within 40 seconds as seen visually and on pressure gauge. After cleaning it ran for 2 minutes before clogging again. After several cleaning sessions we eventually had it run without increase in filter pressure for 40 minutes with disposable 10 micron filter in second position.

 

The solid pickup pipe allows you to move around the bottom of the tank, in my case this was limited to a small area but that did cover the lowest point on my tapered base 500 litre tank.

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One observation I'll make, applying to both filters used in this process and any filters in funnels in general use, is the need to consider cleaning them, and storage / disposal of the contaminated 'cleaning fluid'. You have to have the appropriate facilities in place before starting work.

 

If anyone thinks of using funnels and pipes generally, especially convoluted flexible pipes, they need to realise the fact that once used they are contaminated and likely to pick up dirt, which is the opposite of what is required. IMHO any funnel needs a clean storage facility, then the funnel is always ready to be used, without introducing contamination.

 

HTH.

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The rig usually consists of a 12 volt high volume pump, two filters in series, one including a water trap, and a pressure gauge. The first filter is a re-usable one of about 100 microns, the second can take a finer mesh re-usable filter or a finer still disposable one of about 10 micron. A solid pickup pipe is connected via flexible hose to the pump. The return pipe pipe is connected back to the tank via maybe a breather union. In this way fuel is continually circulated, with solids at the bottom churned up into suspension. The polishing is best performed with tank around one third full.

 

When I last had this done, the only tank access was through the fuel level sender hole around 45mm diameter. After hooking up rig & running pump the first filter clogged up within 40 seconds as seen visually and on pressure gauge. After cleaning it ran for 2 minutes before clogging again. After several cleaning sessions we eventually had it run without increase in filter pressure for 40 minutes with disposable 10 micron filter in second position.

 

The solid pickup pipe allows you to move around the bottom of the tank, in my case this was limited to a small area but that did cover the lowest point on my tapered base 500 litre tank.

 

You're describing a commercial kit, whereas I get the impression that the OP is thinking of something built in, or at least for DIY use only. The ASAP link is certainly for 'small scale' built in equipment.

 

Tim

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You're describing a commercial kit, whereas I get the impression that the OP is thinking of something built in, or at least for DIY use only. The ASAP link is certainly for 'small scale' built in equipment.

 

Tim

 

Nevertheless the guy that polished my fuel had built the rig I describe himself mounted on thick ply. I agree the ASAP Supplies link shows a rather feeble pump but a larger 12 volt one could easily be sourced. Something around 10 litres/minute should be ok.

Edited by by'eck
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Nevertheless the guy that polished my fuel had built the rig I describe himself mounted on thick ply. I agree the ASAP Supplies link shows a rather feeble pump but a larger 12 volt one could easily be sourced. Something around 10 litres/minute should be ok.

 

Surely if you're just cleaning your own fuel, with a built-in system, a small pump will be absolutely fine?

 

Tim

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Surely if you're just cleaning your own fuel, with a built-in system, a small pump will be absolutely fine?

 

Tim

 

A larger flow and more suction when polishing will create more turbulence, better bringing the solids on the bottom of the tank into suspension where they can be removed.

 

If you want to build a worthwhile fuel polishing system, I don't think you can economise too much on pump capacity.

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It was a "built in" device I had in mind,using my electric fuel pump which is already in place (and paid for!) and a bigger/better filter.

However I can see that a more powerful pump would stir more crud up ( a similar effect can be had on the Ribble link.) Also Davidss makes some good points about keeping the equipment clean.

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Surly there is a difference between routine fuel polishing as a maintenance activity for which the ASAP system is designed and treating a problem of contaminated fuel and tank after getting the bug or lots of water in your tank?

That is what I was thinking. I wondered about the idea of a "built in" polisher which seem to be popular in some countries. I suppose my system is doing this now (to some extent) as it has three filters (one is a water separator) and an electric pump which runs whenever the ignition is switched on. Only difference on introducing an extra filter is that it would draw diesel from the drain at the very bottom of the tank.

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A larger flow and more suction when polishing will create more turbulence, better bringing the solids on the bottom of the tank into suspension where they can be removed.

 

If you want to build a worthwhile fuel polishing system, I don't think you can economise too much on pump capacity.

 

 

 

Whilst plenty of capacity is important, so too is matching the filter throughput to the pump. Otherwise all that happens is you get high pressure at the filter inlet and either the filter bypass opens (if fitted), the filter fails mechanically under the strain or there is limited return to the tank, so the stirring doesn't happen.

 

Ideally there will be a water separator, followed by series of filters of increasing fineness, all driven by a pump with a flow-rate which matches the flow-rate of the filter(s) at the smallest of the filter(s) maximum differential head. This flow rate needs to be big enough to stir things up. You also need differential pressure gauges on the filters (so you can see how blocked they are) and a level gauge on any water separator.

 

For a commercial/ professional application I'd look at a centrifugal separator as the first device, but they ain't cheap or low-power, though it may eventually pay for itself in extra filter life.

 

If paying someone I'd want to see new filters installed at the start.

 

N

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Take a look at the Oilybits site. The goldenrod filters are great at clearing water from fuel. Add one of their centrifuges and, not only can you polish fuel , but process waste oil as part of the process for making black diesel. Works a treat! :)

 

 

i don't know what you mean by "black Diesel" but i know for a fact( i'm all over the research papers) that waste engine oil cannot be used as fuel

in a Diesel engine, lubricating oil leaves behind an abrasive ash whether it is brand new, or used, filtering or cetrifuging, makes no difference to this. Bores, and pistons are destroyed faster than you can save any cost of Diesel fuel.

 

If there was any possibility of using it as Diesel engine fuel i would be using it.

 

On the subject of polishing, i think maybe you are reading scare stories, tanks should be drained off, and cleaned periodically, but not a constant polishing set up built in to the tiny tank on a average narrow boat is way over the top. For the average use of a canal boat a standard filter is fine. I use a preventative dose of Marine 16 all the time, on all my fuel now.

Edited by waterworks
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i don't know what you mean by "black Diesel" but i know for a fact( i'm all over the research papers) that waste engine oil cannot be used as fuel

in a Diesel engine, lubricating oil leaves behind an abrasive ash whether it is brand new, or used, filtering or cetrifuging, makes no difference to this. Bores, and pistons are destroyed faster than you can save any cost of Diesel fuel.

 

If there was any possibility of using it as Diesel engine fuel i would be using it.

 

On the subject of polishing, i think maybe you are reading scare stories, tanks should be drained off, and cleaned periodically, but not a constant polishing set up built in to the tiny tank on a average narrow boat is way over the top. For the average use of a canal boat a standard filter is fine. I use a preventative dose of Marine 16 all the time, on all my fuel now.

I agree it might be OTT, but having read many reports of contaminated diesel on here and several other forums etc, I was attempting to think through an affordable solution. I can see no harm in discussing things.

I too am a big believer in M16 (or similar,) changing filters regularly, and taking some diesel from the bottom of the tank periodically. I have had no major problems over many years of boating (though once got water in due to leaky deck filler.)

 

Can't comment on black diesel as I have never used it, but a geezer at a recycling centre we once visited claimed he had run an ancient Peugeot diesel off waste oil for donkey's years (he took a few gals of waste oil straight off me.) I have no idea what mileage we are talking here. I wouldn't fancy the idea personally.

Edited by Guest
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i don't know what you mean by "black Diesel" but i know for a fact( i'm all over the research papers) that waste engine oil cannot be used as fuel

in a Diesel engine, lubricating oil leaves behind an abrasive ash whether it is brand new, or used, filtering or cetrifuging, makes no difference to this. Bores, and pistons are destroyed faster than you can save any cost of Diesel fuel.

 

If there was any possibility of using it as Diesel engine fuel i would be using it.

 

On the subject of polishing, i think maybe you are reading scare stories, tanks should be drained off, and cleaned periodically, but not a constant polishing set up built in to the tiny tank on a average narrow boat is way over the top. For the average use of a canal boat a standard filter is fine. I use a preventative dose of Marine 16 all the time, on all my fuel now.

 

 

This engine was running on used engine oil, and used a large filter (near the tank on the back wall), a heating jacket (on the fuel filter), and a high pressure pump on the end of the engine.

 

Apparently it runs fine, so far no problems. They have noticed that the exhaust smell is slightly different, and the sound is a little softer.

Edited by by'eck
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I have a home made kit which consists of a high pressure pump, a centrifuge and a mesh prefilter - it cleans at a rate of 10 litres a minute - the centrifuge spins at 20,000 rpm and filters down to 0.1 microns, which will remove all water and pretty much any particulates.

 

In response to the guy that says using waste engine oil is not possible, try telling that to Russell Newbery, who have designed an engine specifically to run on waste engine oil - it may even be the one in the video above.

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If the boat does not have a onboard polishing kit is there any point in worring about this issue.You may have had your boats tank polished but the next time you refill with diesel you may be contaminating your tank,unless you know the integrety and quality of your fuel supplier.It may be better to add a proven addative to each refill rather than worry about polishing fuel.An addative and regular filter changes may well prove to be as effective and cheaper.

Edited by Big COL
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i don't know what you mean by "black Diesel" but i know for a fact( i'm all over the research papers) that waste engine oil cannot be used as fuel

in a Diesel engine, lubricating oil leaves behind an abrasive ash whether it is brand new, or used, filtering or cetrifuging, makes no difference to this. Bores, and pistons are destroyed faster than you can save any cost of Diesel fuel.

If there was any possibility of using it as Diesel engine fuel i would be using it.

 

On the subject of polishing, i think maybe you are reading scare stories, tanks should be drained off, and cleaned periodically, but not a constant polishing set up built in to the tiny tank on a average narrow boat is way over the top. For the average use of a canal boat a standard filter is fine. I use a preventative dose of Marine 16 all the time, on all my fuel now.

 

Hmmmm. I wonder, could a short period using this stuff be a cure for the 'glazed bores' that so many canal boats suffer from?

 

Regards

Ditchdabbler

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