Our market research found over 30% of Marinas experienced fuel related issues, such as diesel bug etc., The cost of solving the issues ranged from £345 - £1000. Many marinas and yacht clubs we spoke to were unable to identify how many of their members had suffered from issues, so it could be even higher. We look at the new portable self-contained Diesel-Duck®, designed to solve these issues and make sure you don’t suffer.
‘Clean Fuel’ should be the mantra of every diesel-engine owner. Diesel has changed, producers are under pressure to produce fuel with lower sulphur content to emissions control standards. In turn engine design has changed to ensure the end user continue to get maximum power from their fuel. The injector is at the forefront of this change. The injectors in a diesel engine are extremely delicate, Working to minute tolerances, often just a few microns, for comparison a human hair is almost 50 times bigger at typically 100 microns. With this in mind it’s easy to see that even microscopic specks of dirt or water can ruin injectors and ultimately your bank account.
Water in fuel is equally bad news. It can rust internal parts if the engine is idle for extended periods and although rare, it can become superheated through the combustion process and explode - blowing the heads off the injectors. Finally, it is the breeding ground of the microbial infection - diesel-bug, which is becoming more prevalent as sulphur levels in fuel drop.
Over recent years sulphur levels have steadily reduced in diesel fuel. Although we all understand the need to reduce sulphur in fuel it plays an instrumental part of what makes diesel fit for purpose. The process to remove sulphur from fuel removes the lubricity, this should be replaced by the producer, often it is but to the bear minimum. Finally, sulphur is a natural biocide, which means, in the past when sulphur levels were higher it kept diesel-bug at bay. It’s removal means engines are now more vulnerable to infestation.
Diesel bug is the collective name for the bacteria, yeasts and moulds that diesel absorbs from the atmosphere. The bugs attach themselves to water droplets present in the fuel and sink to the bottom of the tank where they feed from the diesel above. Doubling in number every 20 minutes they live for just 24 hours. During their short life they secrete waste before dying, it is this combination of waste and dead bugs that clog filters and cause fuel related breakdowns.
Water is present in all fuel, many marinas employ best practise to ensure the fuel leaves them in optimal condition; however, many don’t. Also, water gets into fuel by condensation forming on the sides of tank or from badly fitting fuel caps and seals. Just filling up isn’t enough to stop this - especially if you tie-up for long periods of time.
Inspired by the success of the Marine Fuel Purifier (MFP), MarShip UK began to create the Diesel Duck®. The MFP sits at the heart of the Diesel Duck®and acts as the ‘first line of defence’ removing 99% of free water and 95% of solids from diesel fuel. Produced in the UK it requires neither filters nor electrics which also makes it ideal for fitting on to the engine of fishing and work-boats where downtime is unacceptable.
The MFP is already established by the commercial sector as the best de-watering system available, making it the ideal platform on which to build the new generation of fuel cleaners. We understand that when your boat is your passion, whatever the discipline, you want to make the most of it, so rather than suggesting fitting an MFP to the engine of a motorboat or yacht, we set out to make it as straight forward as possible so developed a fully automatic, portable, self-contained plug and play unit that is simple and easy to use.
The Diesel Duck® has been designed with simplicity in mind. It weighs a mere 17kg making it easy to carry. It is supplied with three quick- release hoses, simply connect to the inlet, outlet and drain, press start an the Diesel Duck will do the rest. You come back an hour or so later to clean dry fuel
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Peter Weide is MD of MarShip, a UK based company specializing in optimising the efficiency of marine diesel engines. Advising on maintaining the cleanliness of Air, Fuel and Lubricating oil, we regularly recommend solutions to operators and appear regularly in industry press, with our full range of diesel additives DieselAid we can offer solutions for most operating conditions and wont advise them if you don’t need them.