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Old 13-06-2015, 22:07   #1
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Removing emulsified water from diesel

What is the best filter to remove emulsified water from diesel fuel?

Is there a filter that will remove all water, both free and emulsified? I've read the fuel polishing threads and very few address the emulsified water issue. A few users attempted, it seems like no one wants to talk about emulsified water.

So far, all I've gleaned was from a brief statement from Diesel Polisher that Fleetguard filters can filter emulsified water and I found one stating 100% filteration of free and emulsified water (Combust Filters, combustionusa.com).

Is it not discussed because it is not a problem or because there are no solutions? Am I just being hypersensitive?

Today, I filtered 30 gallons (six 5 gallon jugs) of 9 month old diesel and found that the racor captured the particulates, but it looks like 1) most tanks had emulsified water or 2) the racor emulsified the water that was in those tanks.

The result was only one 5 gallon tank has clear fuel. The other five have cloudy fuel (some more than others). I filtered each three times with a 30 micron filter, then once with at 10 micron filter. At the end of each pass I left about a cup in each tank, then swished and dumped. Each time, I saw fewer and fewer particulates.

But it's all cloudy. I'm probably going to trash those 30 gallons and start with clean fuel, but I still have the question of which filter will remove emulsified water from the diesel fuel because I still need to put that filter on my polishing system.

The other question I have is what affect do valvtec BioGard and PriD (or all the other bicides/stabilizers) have on promoting water/fuel emulsification? Maybe this question should be another thread?

Thanks
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Old 13-06-2015, 23:59   #2
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

I have never had the problem, but a quick internet search found this paper: http://donaldsonoemfiltration.com/li...dfs/053491.pdf.

Is it possible for you to chill the fuel jugs? Cold diesel doesn't hold water, apparently, as well as warm fuel. Perhaps that might aid in precipitating it out.
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Old 14-06-2015, 00:35   #3
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

Cloudiness can be caused by using a water dispersant additive that holds the water in a stable emulsion and doesn't allow the water to precipitate out. It can also be caused by wax in the fuel but that generally happens with summer fuel in the winter. Try heating and stirring a bit of the fuel and see if the cloudiness goes away. Although with wax I would think you should have been able to filter it out.
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Old 14-06-2015, 00:55   #4
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

Get rid of the crap and get some fresh diesel. If there is a fuel treatment in the old fuel then the water will not come out.
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Old 14-06-2015, 08:55   #5
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

I don't think that a "fuel filter" will easily remove water if it is emulsified. They rely on the fact that water is heavier than diesel and allow gravity to do the work. A true emulsion has very tiny "bubbles" of water, so small that they don't settle. You could try a few tests with a quart or so of the diesel and see if the following tricks work.
As noted before, cool it and see if that will aid in the separation.
Chemists usually add salt and shake gently. That makes the water much more polar and frequently will break the emulsion.
Add a solid drying agent. That will "pull" the water out. I'm not sure what drying agents are cheap and readily available. There is the silica gel that you get in those little packets when you buy electronics and some other things but I don't know where to get it easily. Some kitty litter is made (primarily) of a zeolite called clinoptilolite. I'm pretty sure that will absorb water. You'd have to make sure that it was dry before you started, either by leaving it in intense sun for a few hours or heating in an oven to about 150 C for 20 to 30 minutes. Then just add it to the diesel and cap it up. It might put a few particulates into the diesel but they should filter easily. Make sure it's the "inorganic" kitty litter because there are some that are organic and probably won't work at all.
There is some stuff called "DampRid" or something like that, that you can get at many stores. But I'm not sure what it is...it could dissolve in the diesel/water mix as it picked up the water.

Most emulsions will slowly separate. But you've got to leave them pretty still for days and days.

Or, just throw it out. Bad diesel has caught me out at least once!!

Bill
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Old 14-06-2015, 09:14   #6
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

Pls translate from Danish to English this text:
Dieselpest - www.udkik.dk

Rgds Harding

Quote:
Originally Posted by scherzoja View Post
What is the best filter to remove emulsified water from diesel fuel?

Is there a filter that will remove all water, both free and emulsified? I've read the fuel polishing threads and very few address the emulsified water issue. A few users attempted, it seems like no one wants to talk about emulsified water.

So far, all I've gleaned was from a brief statement from Diesel Polisher that Fleetguard filters can filter emulsified water and I found one stating 100% filteration of free and emulsified water (Combust Filters, combustionusa.com).

Is it not discussed because it is not a problem or because there are no solutions? Am I just being hypersensitive?

Today, I filtered 30 gallons (six 5 gallon jugs) of 9 month old diesel and found that the racor captured the particulates, but it looks like 1) most tanks had emulsified water or 2) the racor emulsified the water that was in those tanks.

The result was only one 5 gallon tank has clear fuel. The other five have cloudy fuel (some more than others). I filtered each three times with a 30 micron filter, then once with at 10 micron filter. At the end of each pass I left about a cup in each tank, then swished and dumped. Each time, I saw fewer and fewer particulates.

But it's all cloudy. I'm probably going to trash those 30 gallons and start with clean fuel, but I still have the question of which filter will remove emulsified water from the diesel fuel because I still need to put that filter on my polishing system.

The other question I have is what affect do valvtec BioGard and PriD (or all the other bicides/stabilizers) have on promoting water/fuel emulsification? Maybe this question should be another thread?

Thanks
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Old 14-06-2015, 10:45   #7
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by scherzoja View Post
What is the best filter to remove emulsified water from diesel fuel?

Is there a filter that will remove all water, both free and emulsified? I've read the fuel polishing threads and very few address the emulsified water issue. A few users attempted, it seems like no one wants to talk about emulsified water.

So far, all I've gleaned was from a brief statement from Diesel Polisher that Fleetguard filters can filter emulsified water and I found one stating 100% filteration of free and emulsified water (Combust Filters, combustionusa.com).

Is it not discussed because it is not a problem or because there are no solutions? Am I just being hypersensitive?

Today, I filtered 30 gallons (six 5 gallon jugs) of 9 month old diesel and found that the racor captured the particulates, but it looks like 1) most tanks had emulsified water or 2) the racor emulsified the water that was in those tanks.

The result was only one 5 gallon tank has clear fuel. The other five have cloudy fuel (some more than others). I filtered each three times with a 30 micron filter, then once with at 10 micron filter. At the end of each pass I left about a cup in each tank, then swished and dumped. Each time, I saw fewer and fewer particulates.

But it's all cloudy. I'm probably going to trash those 30 gallons and start with clean fuel, but I still have the question of which filter will remove emulsified water from the diesel fuel because I still need to put that filter on my polishing system.

The other question I have is what affect do valvtec BioGard and PriD (or all the other bicides/stabilizers) have on promoting water/fuel emulsification? Maybe this question should be another thread?

Thanks
Hi Scherzoja,

I don't think you are being Hypersensitive.... Cloudy fuel is not desirable...

I don't have an answer for you regarding a filter that would removed emulsified water.... but if you only have 30 gallons I'll wager new fuel is cheaper than a high-tech filtration system....

Regarding how did the fuel get this way in the first place...

Is it possible it was purchased in this condition? If not- and not knowing what type of climate the diesel was stored in- is it possible your fuel in question is #2 diesel that was was once chilled to 22F or colder? [#1 diesel, and #2 with appropriate additives or blends with #1 don't have this problem...]

If it is possible that the fuel was chilled to cooler than 22F, you may be seeing the results of diesel fuel 'gelling' [I drive a diesel vehicle and heat with fuel oil (same thing without the road tax...) in a cold climate... first hand experience...]

If your climate wouldn't provide such a temperature, then perhaps you have additives keeping water in suspension, 'bugs', or both.

Either way, for such a relatively small amount of diesel, and assuming fresh fuel is readily available and affordable, I would not want to risk gumming up my injectors just to save 30 gallons of tainted fuel... [I also understand it is not typically easy to find a convenient way to dispose of undesirable fuel either...]

If, however, you have no other choice, then you are doing the right thing filtering and applying additives hoping you can burn it up without further consequences... [For additive advice I would start by researching recent Practical Sailor test results...]

Also, if you have a separate heating system, consider burning the tainted fuel there...

If you can borrow a Baja fuel filter it might capture some water when you pour your tainted fuel through it... [I've used one for years and never regretted the delay it imposes when obtaining fuel from questionable sources...]

Good luck!
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Old 14-06-2015, 11:17   #8
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by scherzoja View Post
What is the best filter to remove emulsified water from diesel fuel?

Is there a filter that will remove all water, both free and emulsified? I've read the fuel polishing threads and very few address the emulsified water issue. A few users attempted, it seems like no one wants to talk about emulsified water.

So far, all I've gleaned was from a brief statement from Diesel Polisher that Fleetguard filters can filter emulsified water and I found one stating 100% filteration of free and emulsified water (Combust Filters, combustionusa.com).

Is it not discussed because it is not a problem or because there are no solutions? Am I just being hypersensitive?

Today, I filtered 30 gallons (six 5 gallon jugs) of 9 month old diesel and found that the racor captured the particulates, but it looks like 1) most tanks had emulsified water or 2) the racor emulsified the water that was in those tanks.

The result was only one 5 gallon tank has clear fuel. The other five have cloudy fuel (some more than others). I filtered each three times with a 30 micron filter, then once with at 10 micron filter. At the end of each pass I left about a cup in each tank, then swished and dumped. Each time, I saw fewer and fewer particulates.

But it's all cloudy. I'm probably going to trash those 30 gallons and start with clean fuel, but I still have the question of which filter will remove emulsified water from the diesel fuel because I still need to put that filter on my polishing system.

The other question I have is what affect do valvtec BioGard and PriD (or all the other bicides/stabilizers) have on promoting water/fuel emulsification? Maybe this question should be another thread?

Thanks
$100 worth of fuel? Chuck it. Clean your tanks at the same time and start fresh.
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Old 14-06-2015, 11:59   #9
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

Quote:
. valvtec BioGard and PriD (or all the other bicides/stabilizers) have on promoting water/fuel emulsification? Maybe this question should be another thread?
I have had very good luck with Pri-D, let me repeat: Very happy with Pri-D.
Used it in Florida and the Bahamas for 15 years on same boat: Perkins 4-108, 50 gallon aluminum tank.
Never had an issue or a problem.
That being said, I also filtered all fuel going into the tank and every five years pump the tank dry and cleaned insides with paper towel and windex after removing the inspection plate: 16X16".
Never found gunk or crap in the bottom of the tank, clean to the bone...
As for using questionable diesel fuel with known water, don't...It could cause problems and expensive damage to the injectors.
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Old 14-06-2015, 15:15   #10
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it all. I'll burn it or give it away and use fresh fuel for the boat.
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Old 14-06-2015, 15:44   #11
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

I think you may find that there are two types of water-removing filters from companies like Racor. One is a hydrophobic paper element (Racor calls theirs Aquabloc) which works to coalesce the small water droplets into larger droplets. The other type is a water-absorbing filter, which is intended to be used with emulsified fuel-water blends.

In Racor's larger FBO filter system (for really big diesels), you can specify one of three elements: particulate, water-repellant, and water-absorbing.

I know this is overkill for what you're trying to solve, but my main point is that any diesel filter system needs to attack the specific problem. A classic Racor turbine filter like the 500FG attacks this in two ways: physical water removal by deceleration and hydro-phobic elements, and paper fuel filtration for sediment and particulates.

Chuck
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Old 14-06-2015, 22:29   #12
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

I think the kitty litter and the get dry was spot on. What a hoot! How does he do it!
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Old 15-06-2015, 00:03   #13
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

I come from a navy and commercial marine background. Often long idle or mothballed engines needed to be operational quickly. Sometimes fuel tanks contained thousands of gallons of old fuel. Ideally, a fuel polishing would have been used, but was unavailable. Using one of several fuel additives that help break up sludge, etc., I have always been able to get the engine running and use the fuel. I have been using Algae-X for a number of years. It also has an in line magnet that is part of the system. This vessel had sat for 6 years when I bought it. The fuel was amber colored. I added Algae-X to the existing 50 gallons in the day tank and added 20 gallons of new fuel (hand carried) before starting. The Detroit mains and Perkins generators started a little ragged, but after about 15 minutes of idle smoothed out. After a couple hours of running the fuel became much clearer. I have never had any trouble and use a 4 micron primary filter. My secondary filters never get dirty. As I have opened the (built in 1942) tanks for inspection, they are clear of sludge. Lately (on a mechanic's recommendation) I have been using Archoil AR 6000 in my Ford diesel 3/4 ton 4x4, another fuel catalyst. I now get about 25 mpg not towing and running light. I intend to try it in the boat. I have never had to dispose of old diesel.
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Old 15-06-2015, 02:05   #14
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

Water turn into gas at 100c and diesel at 180c so just heat it to +100c and the water will becom gas and evaporate.
I do it all the time when i make biodiesel.
I have ben driving my car for allmost 200000km with this homemade biodisel.
Regards mats
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Old 15-06-2015, 02:21   #15
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Re: Removing emulsified water from diesel

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Water turn into gas at 100c and diesel at 180c so just heat it to +100c and the water will becom gas and evaporate.
I do it all the time when i make biodiesel.
I have ben driving my car for allmost 200000km with this homemade biodisel.
Regards mats

you serious? you boil the diesel?!?!?! Isnt diesel and heat together a bit dangerous ? at 500C, diesel explodes for sure.
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