Getting Tke Bugs Out
A Deep Submergence Vehicle Support Ship, a utility vessel, and an offshore drilling rig have solved their diesel bug problems by fitting special magnetic microbial decontamination units in their fuel systems.
These unique devices, De-Bug™ Fuel Decontamination Units, eliminate diesel microbes and associated problems in a clean, safe, environmentally friendly manner without toxic biocides. Developed 14 years ago in New Zealand by De-Bug Worldwide Limited, a leader in magnetic decontamination, the units are marketed in the U.S. exclusively by Environmental Solutions International (ESI), Inc., of Reston, Va.
The marine industry has long suffered with problems caused by microorganisms that live and grow in fuel, fuel tanks, cargo, ballast tanks, and lube oil systems. Some water is present in all fuel and the bugs flourish at the oil/water interface, feeding on the oil. Engine room temperatures (60-95° F) exacerbate the situation by providing ideal breeding conditions. Left unchecked, the bugs quickly multiply and clog filters, fuel lines, and corrode injectors, leading to equipment breakdown and failure. The patented De-Bug Unit passes the diesel fuel through vertically stacked ceramic permanent magnets - TRI-MAG™ or MULTIMAG ™ Bug Killer Paks. Within the designed path, the fuel and microbes experience many flux field changes and intensity capable of destroying nearly 100 percent (97.6 percent) of the microorganisms in a single pass. An example is the DSESS Kellie Chouest, a 310-ft. Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle Support Ship equipped with twin EMD 645 diesel engines. Leased to the U.S. Navy for research, rescue and retrieval, the vessel cannot risk engine power loss or shutdown. However, severe algae contamination of the fuel required replacement of the fuel filters on all engines every fewhours. Installing De-Bug Units in the fuel supply lines to the main, generator, and auxiliary diesel engines solved the problem, extended the filter replacement interval to the normal maintenance schedule, and restored the engines to their required standard of dependability. Captain Eugene Thomassie said, "We are well satisfied with the performance of the De-Bug units." A 100-ft. utility vessel, the M/V Skippin Sue, owned by T.E.
Marine, Larose, La., reportedly experienced similar problems. In May, filters on the DDI 12V-92 main engines were being changed two to three times per week due to microbial clogging.
After De-Bug installation, the initial filter change interval reportedly increased to two weeks, and one month later the filters are still clean. Tillman Danos, a T.E. Marine principal says, "...it's great ... really doing the job. (We) will put them on all the other boats..." A major oil company's offshore drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico experienced severe problems with diesel engine performance and dependability caused by contaminated fuel stored onboard. Fuel filters had to be serviced every one to two hours. Recirculating the fuel through a large De-Bug Unit Model L-4000, helped eliminate the problem by continuously treating the stored fuel before supply to onboard engines. De-Bug Units are available in a complete range of sizes for all applications. The exclusive U.S. Agents, ESI, Inc. are staffed by marine engineers with 70 years experience in fuels and lubricants who provide practical advice and optimal solutions. ESI also offers total fuel management systems and an international used-oil analysis service