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Old 26-05-2020, 08:53   #1
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Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

Have some oil and diesel fuel in boats bilge. Does anyone know of a product that will break down diesel and oils so it can be safely discharged overboard?
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Old 26-05-2020, 20:49   #2
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

There are several biodigesters you can buy, including several that come as an oil absorbent pad.

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=2724390
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Old 26-05-2020, 21:26   #3
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

Having worked in oily water treatment for a very long time (35 years), you need to understand that oil does not break down quickly in seawater. The salt inhibits the bacteria. Bio products can work, but very slowly, and so for that month or more, you better not need to pump the bilge.



Emulsifying it with a cleaner is like perfume instead of a shower.



You need to pump it out. Just do it.
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Old 26-05-2020, 21:50   #4
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

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Originally Posted by cburger View Post
Have some oil and diesel fuel in boats bilge. Does anyone know of a product that will break down diesel and oils so it can be safely discharged overboard?
Before you discharge any bilge water contaminated by diesel, read carefully that plaque you are required to have in your engine room...

Anything that causes an oily sheen on the surface or sludge below the surface is illegal to discharge. Fines are large and significant.

I know of no product that ďdigestsĒ diesel fuel to the point that you can discharge it legally. You can absorb almost all of it with good quality oil pads. Some larger, better run marinas will have a bilge water disposal service. In areas with a lot of boats there are also mobile services that will come an clean up the mess.

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Old 27-05-2020, 01:01   #5
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

Buy a cheap Wet/Dry Vacuum and suck it out - Rinse with hot water and some form of Eucalyptus detergent - Do a few times and you will be all good.


Dispose of waste where you are allowed!
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Old 27-05-2020, 02:44   #6
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

buy a bunch of oil absorbent (hydrophobic) pads ($40/100 online) they will only absorb the oil & diesel but don't absorb water. Remove used pads in a trash bag, remove remaining water as usual. Clean & degrease bilge
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Old 27-05-2020, 03:25   #7
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

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buy a bunch of oil absorbent (hydrophobic) pads ($40/100 online) they will only absorb the oil & diesel but don't absorb water. Remove used pads in a trash bag, remove remaining water as usual. Clean & degrease bilge
Was going to comment the same. It's basically yachting form of the booms they use to clean up oil spills at sea.
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Old 27-05-2020, 08:48   #8
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

Comments are all good here but please do not discharge oil and fuel residue. I learned a good inexpensive trick from a real old salt, Pre-WWII trained and WWII Navy Chief, Engineer. Layers of news paper applied one at a time... I know news print is not as available as it once was, but most things printed on paper will work and most have far less value than when we had truth in reporting... You keep applying paper until the oil is contained between the layers and absorbed. Then place it in a series of containers and take it off the boat... Having a sump area sealed at the lowest point will help. Small amounts of water do not matter much, but pre exposure of paper to light oil will make them absorb oils and not so much water. Most marina's near me have a waste oil disposal area near the public launch ramp. That is a good place to discard the waste in the appropriate container. For larger amounts use the wet dry vacuum method and transfer the waste... then use the paper pickup. Cheap and effective. A very long time ago I used to use aggressive detergents, but oil and detergents are heavy impact to ecological systems. Since we enjoy our waters, let's enjoy the process of protecting them. Encourage others with good attitude and suggestion. Maybe our abalone and kelp forests will return along with the eel grass and the critters our dates enjoy... for me I like to be lightly oiled on occasion with a very good but not expensive single malt... Yay Navy! When I visited Peleliu Island in Palau, I signed my Chief's name to the register, and the name of the ship he was on during the war... and no, I did not try bat head soup... but I did eat some clam... pieces of the big blue ones..
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Old 27-05-2020, 09:56   #9
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

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buy a bunch of oil absorbent (hydrophobic) pads ($40/100 online) they will only absorb the oil & diesel but don't absorb water. Remove used pads in a trash bag, remove remaining water as usual. Clean & degrease bilge
25 BUCKS ON EBAY FOR 100 PADS
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Old 27-05-2020, 10:04   #10
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

Best not to be lazy and get into the thinking that by adding yet another chemical into the bilge you can just pump that crap out ( probably at night on an outgoing tide). Best solution is to first fix the oil leak then get a shop vacuum and suck the oil out of the bilge. You will be much more happy with the results.
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Old 27-05-2020, 10:44   #11
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

SKIMOIL.COM has a oil/water separator that you plumb into your bilge pump system.
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Old 27-05-2020, 10:52   #12
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

I have ordered a gallon of "Oil Destroyer"

https://www.corebiologic.com/industr.../oil-destroyer

Bugs that eat hydrocarbons, will let all know the results.
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Old 27-05-2020, 11:31   #13
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

Bail out what you can and then go to the pads. The pads are great. I keep a couple under my engine and transmission. They alert me to leaks. I also use them when refueling by rolling one up and wrapping it around the filling nozzle. Any fuel that would run onto the deck is caught and absorbed. Then when the refueling is finished I use the same pad to cover the end of the nozzle to catch drips as the nozzle is passed back to the attendant.
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Old 27-05-2020, 14:44   #14
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

The best thing I know that will absorb oil as well as water is sieved raw dry untreated sawdust. Most sawmills are happy for you to take away as much as you can. If the sawdust you get is wet from the water used to cool the saws, you can sun-dry it for a day or so out of the wind, but usually it will not be necessary,
Sawdust is very absorbent, and it has a strong affinity for oil.

Having put heaps of it into the bilges and absorbed anything in there, you now need a big vacuum cleaner of the wet/dry type to extract it all.

When you have done so, if you wish to have unscented bilges, you can now scrub the place out using dish washing detergent and absorb the soap and rinse water using those car wash sponges and a bucket..

Lotsa luck.

The oily sawdust does burn well if you dry it in the sun first, if you are in a remote place and have no other means of disposal.
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Old 27-05-2020, 21:13   #15
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Re: Product to Clean and Digest Diesel in Bilge?

When thatís happened to me, Iíve sucked it out via the tank I use for changing oil. My marina letís me dump the dirty bilge water into their waste oil tank for free. Then a few white pads to clean up the remaining film and itís good to go.
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