Although the Ultra-low Sulphur diesel is better for the environment, like anything organic, there are dependent organisms that can arise from it. When it comes to diesel fuel, humbugs are that organism.
So what are humbugs? They are Hydrocarbon Utilizing Microorganisms (HUM) that feed off the hydrocarbons in the fuel, rubber gaskets, o-rings, hoses, and etc. Their waste is an acid that corrodes piping, fittings, and check valves in the fuel system at your site. Once you have HUM bugs infiltrating your system, the corrosion soon erodes the meter and causes a faster degradation of the its accuracy. As c-stores tend to offer a variation on fuel, there is a higher risk of the meter’s life to be shortened and the headache of needing to recalibrate meters more often.
Since these bugs grow in rapid population, they grow into a mat of black slime that will clog fuel filters, corrode pumps, cause hoses and connectors to swell as well as degrade fuel economy. Therefore, it is best to consider how to prevent erosion with the lowest maintenance as possible - especially since these microbes can enter through the tank’s vents, fill tubes, and other means.
What’s the hurry and why worry about these miniature creatures NOW? Well, though these bugs are microscopic in size, they can grow to a biomass of several centimeters thick in just 12 hours! Even if you can treat your contaminated equipment, you will end up having to clean the entire system which may require you to shut down your whole site. If you do not do this and your equipment is contaminated, you run the risk anyways of needing to close down your equipment due to failure to function properly, power outages, and other emergencies.
To detect if your dispenser is contaminated, there are three indicators:
- Visually: Black, brown-green or red build-up
- Smells: Foul scent
- Testing: Have a fuel sample sent to a laboratory which can cost up to $700.
So how can you combat these gooey bugs?
The weaponry is simple: Acquire a piston meter that can not only achieve fuel measurements, minimize fuel over-delivery, and reduce calibrations, but ultimately handle the effects of particles created through corrosion in an ultra-low Sulfur Diesel environment.
There is no reason for you to wait till symptoms arise. Instead, ensure there’s a meter in your equipment that can stand up to the harmful particles, prolong your dispenser lifespan, and reduce and the frequency of recalibration.
If you want to look into Gilbarco Veeder-Root’s HD Meter, it has been installed in over 150 c-stores and has proven to be a great resistor to HUM bug deterioration while preserving efficiencies. The HD meter extends the life of your dispensers significantly by reducing drift and therefore delay your need for a new dispenser.