What is Fuel Polishing ?
Quite simply it is the process of removing water, diesel bug, rust, sludge and other debris from fuel to leave only pure, uncontaminated fuel behind.
It is achieved using the latest advances in technology to produce equipment that utilises vortex
spinning of the liquid and micron filters to sieve out anything that should not be there.
The biggest factor in contaminating fuel, leading to engine failure or reduced performance is water. It finds its way into the fuel tank by condensation. Unfortunately a spotlessly clean tank can be contaminated on its very first fill up simply by buying the fuel from a supplier that already has the problem in his storage tanks and transfers it to you.
However, when the engine lies unused for a period of time the changes in weather and temperature will cause the water vapour in the air to condense on the inner surface of the fuel tank. The resulting water sinks to the bottom and diesel bug (a common name for that live and breed at the interface between the water and fuel) lives, breeds and dies there. On its demise it sinks and forms a sludge that gets taken up by the fuel pump, passed into the filters and injectors and eventually clogs them, in may cases resulting in engine failure. This can be catastrophic for a boat on the sea or fast flowing river and is becoming the scourge of the narrow boat and marine world.
Watch the video below for a better view of the process.
Additives are advertised as cures, however, while they may be effective in killing the bug they don’t remove it, or the water present in the tank. They can be used to control the breeding (a bit like deer culling in in parts of the world) and although some big old engines can blow the water through the cylinders with little effect, engineers are reporting that the smaller higher revving engines will not be up to the job and the only effective treatment is a regular fuel polishing exercise using the diesel bug fuel polishing equipment.
It looks like this is a problem here to stay as a result of a well meaning, but not perhaps thoroughly though out directive from Brussels!