An effective surveillance program is paramount for controlling microbial contamination of fuels. Molecular microbiological methods (MMM) offer more accurate quantification and identification of the microorganisms present than cultivation methods.
ISSUE: Even with best practices, water condenses and accumulates in fuel storage tanks and pipelines creating an ideal environment for growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. Being more hygroscopic, water contamination in biodiesel and blends is even more prevalent.
IMPACT: Microbial contamination of hydrocarbon fuels, biofuels, and blends leads to deterioration of the fuel and microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC). Moreover, growth of microorganisms can lead to costly and dangerous operational problems in fuel storage and engine systems such as filter blockage.
THREATS: Operations + Economic + Health + Safety
PATH TO RESOLUTION: Accurate quantification and identification of the microorganisms present in fuels is the crucial information needed for monitoring programs and for evaluating the effectiveness of biocides or other control measures. Cultivation methods may underestimate microbial concentrations and misidentify the microorganisms present. Our molecular microbiological methods (MMMs) provide more accurate quantification of key microorganisms like sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) and Cladosporium resinae and more accurate identification of the microorganisms present.