Note that, although the following two articles were written more than ten years ago, they are still very relevant
to today's fuel problems and the described methods of treating fuel is consistent with what is recommended today.
Want Better Fuel Efficiency, Lower Emissions, and A Cleaner Burning Diesel Engine?
Review this Test Report that Shows the addition of an ALGAE-X MFC unit provided a:
This is a report from 2002, but the technology of the AXI Magnetic fuel conditioner has not changed and the short, medium, and long term benefits and results is the same.
Manson Solves H.R. Morris Fuel Problems with Algae-X System
Note: Although the following article was first published in 2004 in International Dredging Review, the information provided is still relevant and explains in a clear way how the condition of the fuel you use impacts the engine's operating efficiency and the performance of emissions components now common on newer trucks and other equipment. Algae-X changed its name and is now AXI-International.
Manson Construction Company recently solved emission problems on the 10,000 hp cutterhead dredge H.R. Morris and other vessels by installing Algae-X magnetic fuel conditioners on the diesel engines, and by treating the fuel with AFC-705 fuel catalyst.
"We had a significant reduction of soot in the exhaust, after installing the system", said Marc Stearns, executive vice president and Southern California Manager for Manson. "There had been an oily soot residue on the catalyst blocks in the engine's exhaust treatment system, before installing the fuel conditioners", he said.
"We were in the process of cleaning the blocks again when we installed the Algae-X system," said Rocky Bolin, Manson's Southern California equipment manager. This involved taking all 500 blocks out and wire brushing and vacuuming them one at a time.
Manson's 28-inch cutterhead dredge H.R. Morris
The company is preparing for the new California emission requirements, that go into effect in 2005, and for more stringent requirements that begin in 2007.
To remove Nitrous Oxides (NOx) from the engine exhaust, and to anticipate the new emission rules, Manson installed selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, manufactured by Kaparta of Switzerland, on the 10,000 hp Morris - a million dollar investment for one dredge.
The SCR systems are large steel containers with several walls of foot-long ceramic bricks with a precious metal coating. The bricks have tiny channels for the exhaust to pass through and are stacked to cover the full cross section of the exhaust treatment chamber.
The reaction of the urea injected into the exhaust stream and the coating that functions as the catalyst lowers the nitrous oxide emissions (NOx) when the engines are operating.
The exhaust of each of the four 2600-horsepower Caterpillar engines is connected to an SCR system on deck of the dredge.
Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems on deck of H.R. Morris
After the SCR installation, the Manson crew discovered that oily soot deposits on the bricks reduced the effectiveness of the system, and that the carbon clogging the channels restricted the exhaust from escaping through the stacks. This caused back-pressure on the engines that affected the operation of the engines.
Stearns called in the air quality consultant Justis and Associates, and also Bernard Franken at Kaparta the SCR equipment manufacturer, who recommended Algae-X.
Algae-X visited Manson's project in Los Angeles last Spring for the installation of his magnetic fuel treatment system and fuel combustion catalyst on the engines of one of the boats. The results of the initial installation convinced the project managers to install the system on the Morris.
"Since we installed the system, there is no oily soot residue on the catalyst blocks in the SCR," said Stearns. "We are getting a more complete burn; the soot is dry and there is less of it. The ceramic blocks are clean and dry. fuel efficiency went up, and the system requires less cleaning and maintenance," he said.
Algae-X discovered that fuel re-polymerization is the principal cause of insipient solids that retard combustion and ultimately results in sediments and sludge that cause filtration problems and the need for periodic tank cleaning. In 1994, Algae-X started developing systems that improve the filterability and stability of fuel, enhancing the combustion process. The results include increased power output, reduced emissions and eliminating residue and deposits in exhaust treatment systems.
An engine converts fuel to mechanical energy, heat and exhaust. Ideally, the combustion process should convert the hydro-carbon fuel into mechanical energy, CO2 and water.
Algae-X technology conditions fuel in such a way that it reduces the size and mass of the fuel particle so it combusts more efficiently. Burning more of the fuel in the combustion chamber before the exhaust valve opens eliminates carbon deposits, lowers the exhaust temperatures and cleans up emissions. Fuel conditioning is the key to peak engine performance.
Diesel fuels are inherently unstable, and tend to polymerize, forming larger and larger clusters of agglomerating molecules. Fuel filters are telltales of fuel quality, and frequently need to be replaced after only a few hundred operating hours, instead of lasting several thousand. Visually, a beaker of diesel might appear clear and bright, but filters may quickly clog a two or a ten micron filter element, revealing sediment, gums and other waxy deposits.
Modern fuel injection systems have much higher pressures and tighter tolerances, to comply with increasingly stringent air quality regulations. They are very sensitive to the chemical and physical characteristics of the fuel. At the same time, fuel refinery techniques have changed dramatically, producing fuels that have a much shorter shelf life, are less stable, and more prone to polymerization and oxidation, forming acid incipient sediments and eventually tank sludge.
Historically, refineries could convert only about fifty percent of a barrel of crude oil to produce lighter fuels such as diesel, gasoline and kerosene. The remaining fifty percent went to residual oil and other industrial applications. With the advent of catalytic cracking, it is now possible to capture in excess of 90 percent of that same barrel of crude oil in usable fuel products. As a result, today's fuels such as marine gas-oil and diesel are a blend of distilled and cracked products, which are less stable than straight run distillate.
Fuel quality deterioration is already well underway after the fuel's long journey from the refinery storage tanks through pipelines, tankers, barges, tank farms, wholesale and retail vendors. The negative impact on fuels from temperature changes, water, microbial activity, heat and pressure of engines and pumps is often not understood as the cause of engine performance, maintenance and excessive emissions issues. Coking, corrosion, hard carbon deposits, damaged injectors and pumps are symptomatic of poor fuel quality.
Traditional filtration and centrifuge technology are designed to remove inorganic contaminants and free water, but are not effective solutions for the negative impact that polymerization has on the filterability and combustion of fuels and oil. The core of the issue is the condition of the fuel itself, the formation of organic compounds increasing in size and mass, forming insipient solids and sediments.
Another frequently-used remedy that has proven to aggravate filtration and combustion issues is the use of biocides. These dangerous, toxic additives are designed to deal with microbial activity and offer no effective solution for treating sediments, gums or asphaltene deposits that ruin injection systems.
The solution is the application of fuel conditioning technologies that address polymerization -- the natural attraction and bonding of fuel molecules, that form compounds that keep increasing in size and mass, eventually forming the sludge and jelly found in tanks and bunkers all of us in the industry are very familiar with.
Algae-X total fuel system management is based on principles in physics -- the application of magnetic fluid conditioning -- and on chemistry -- the application of combustion catalyst, surfactants and dispersants.
The installation of an Algae-X fuel conditioner in the fuel line between tank and the primary filter will condition the fuel by reducing the size of the fuel particles. This results in improved fuel filterability, combustion and lower emissions. This technology is based on the same principles that make generators and electro motors do their job.
AFC-705, the Algae-X catalyst, chemically affects the surface tension of the fuel constituents. The active catalytic ingredients enhance the combustion process to more completely burn the fuel, preventing and eliminating hard carbon deposits.
The technologies are complementary in addressing the prevention and reversal of fuel polymerization, optimizing fuel droplet size to promote more efficient combustion.
Algae-X incorporates these technologies in total fuel management systems, manufactured in a variety of sizes for different applications. The company builds complete fuel conditioning, filtration and tank cleaning systems. Its mission is providing customers with solutions to lower their overall operating cost while increasing safety, reliability and compliance with clean air regulations. Its focus is on the treatment of fuels, oil and hydraulic fluids.
The Algae-X system worked so well in Morris that Manson also installed it on the clamshell dredges Valhalla and Valkyrie, and the tugs Cub and Pub. Stearns stated that they plan to add the system to other vessels as well.
Clogged Filters, Dirty Tanks?
AXI Cleans Fuel Systems By Simply Running The Engine
Frequent Filter changes and cleaning fuel tanks have become acceptable periodic maintenance instead of a warning signal for engine failure. Filter elements should last a thousand hours or more, and injectors some 15,000 hours. However, since diesel fuel is inherently unstable, solids begin to form and the accumulating tank sludge will eventually clog your filters, ruin your injectors and cause engines to smoke.
Fuels and oils are susceptible to natural deterioration, like any other organic fluid. Oxidation, chemical incompatibility, water and microbes all contribute to the process of polymerization and stratification. This results in poor Fuel Quality, tank sludge, bio film and acids. These by-products of the process of fuel breakdown cause clogged filters, corroded injectors, pumps and tanks, incomplete combustion (evident from black smoke, caused by un-burned fuel, from exhaust), carbon build-up, and loss of power. As these problems build on each other, these individual symptoms of bad fuel ultimately lead to complete engine failure.
Filters and centrifuges remove particles and free water. Biocides, commonly recommended by many mechanics to cure the ills of "algae" in fuel tanks, are used to control microbial activity. Neither, however eliminates fuel instability or sludge buildup, and additive treatment, such as frequently adding biocides to your diesel fuel, aggravates filtration problems by turning bio-sludge into solids.
A study by the University of Idaho determined that there could be as much as a 26% degradation in diesel fuel after just 28 days of storage.
Diesel engines continuously return fuel not used for combustion back to the tank. The repeated exposure to the heat and pressure of the injection system accelerates this breakdown of fuel quality.
Diesel fuel is inherently unstable. Fuel quality and chemistry are affected by transportation, storage and as a result of factors such as oxidation, water, microbial contamination, incompatible additive packages, etc. The results is a dramatic increase in the size of the fuel droplets that: (i) negatively affect the filterability of the fuel through filters that become clogged prematurely, and (ii) result in the droplets that are emitted from the fuel injector into the combustion chamber, resulting in fuel not being completely burned in the combustion chamber, noticeable increase in smoke from the exhaust, loss of power, and an increase in fuel consumption.
Microbial contamination byproducts collected in the water accumulated in the bottom of a diesel fuel tank
The solution is the AXI Fuel Magnetic Fuel Conditioning Technology. AXI (formerly ALGAE-X) reverses the process of fuel breakdown, restores fuel filterability, enhances combustibility, and prevents clogged filters and tank sludge. Optimizing fuel droplet size results in combustion efficiency, improved filterability and lower operating costs.
AXI Total Fuel System Management
Diesel engines return excess fuel not used for combustion back to the tank. This enables the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner, installed in the fuel line before the primary filter, inline between the tank and primary filter, to continuously treat the fuel and keep the entire system clean while the equipment operates.
The type of application where this works ideally is where the engine is run for a period of time at lease every couple of weeks. The following is a list of some of the applications where an AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner installed on the fuel line will continuously keep the fuel in optimal condition:
Tractor Trailer rigs
Marine vessels used regularly
Construction Equipment used year around
Mining Equipment used year around
Equipment rented out year-around
Farm equipment used year-around
Corrosion caused by acids formed the result of Diesel Fuel degradation
Some Diesel Engine Applications Are Not Suited for an In-Line Installation of the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner
In applications where the diesel engine is not operated for weeks or months at a time and, as a result, the fuel is not circulated on a regular, extended basis, the fuel will not be treated and the fuel will again deteriorate. The AXI Magnetic Fuel conditioner only does its work when the fuel is circulating. The following are examples of applications where the AXI Magnetic fuel Conditioner mounted inline on the fuel feed line to the engine is not appropriate:
Power Generators used only when the primary electricity service fails
Marine vessels that are not used for months over the winter season
Construction Equipment that is special purpose and not used very often
Rental equipment that is rented only occasionally
Farm equipment used seasonally or only during harvest
Trucks or other equipment used to backup front-line equipment
Fuel Tanks that service fuel needs in seasonal operations
For these applications, AXI has designed systems to specifically meet the needs of your application. For large marine and backup generator systems dedicated to maintaining one or more tanks for a single dedicated purpose, a Wall Mounted Tank Cleaning & Fuel Polishing System provides excellent service for tanks up to 10,000 gallons in applications where there is a sheltered environment for mounting the system on a nearby wall.
For cleaning large tanks that service multiple back-up power generators, such as hospitals, fire/police dispatch and emergency service, commercial data centers, or commercial office buildings where the fuel storage tanks are in a centralized location an Automated Tank Cleaning System is available. These systems are mounted in cabinets to protect the components from the weather, have automatic controllers that will start and stop the fuel polishing process on regular, pre-programed intervals, and can be connected to Building Management Systems allowing for centralized control and monitoring of the process
AXI Knows About Optimal Fuel Quality...
Prevents clogged Filters
Eliminates Periodic Tank
Provides Peak Engine
Lowers Fuel Consumption
More Power—Less Smoke
Extends Life of Engines
Injectors Last Longer
Lowers Operating Cost
Eliminates Costly Toxic
Enhancing Safety of
Protects the Environment
Saves Money, Increases
Safety & Reliability
Commercial marinas and repair facilities for boat, truck or standby generator repair and service find Mobil Tank Cleaning Systems invaluable for periodic service on tanks over a wide geographic area. These systems can also quickly perform a fuel polishing treatment on equipment while the equipment is under regular periodic service for oil changes, fluid checks, etc. Equipment that is not used year around, or is held in reserve for use only when needed, can be serviced every few months with a fuel polishing regimen that assures that when the equipment is needed, the fuel is in optimal condition and the immediate service desired will be delivered.
We also offer a 12 or 24 volt Portable Tank Cleaning System that is ideal for an individual user or a group of friends that can share the system to perform do-it-yourself fuel system maintenance or for a small maintenance and repair facility that performs various maintenance duties and needs a system that will solve a customers fuel degradation problems, or simply needs a system that can perform fluid transfer duties when the need arises.
The AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner Technology
The AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner unit operates on the principle of induction on the process of combining kinetic and magnetic energy to influence the behavior of electrons. AXI provides a powerful magnetic field and the flow of fuel provides the kinetic energy.
As fuel deteriorates, clusters of fuel components break down and residue begins to accumulate, resulting in dark, hazy fuel with poor combustibility. The increase in size and mass of the fuel breakdown products lead to clogged filters and the build up of tank sludge (algae).
AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioners dissolves the clusters, stabilizes the fuel, and eliminates tank sludge. The results are Clear & Bright Fuel improved filterability, optimal combustion and clean fuel systems.
The process of how the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner makes clear, bright and more combustible fuel as well as restoring degraded fuel and eliminating the effects of microbial contamination is compelling.
AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioners are self-cleaning and easy to install, have no moving parts, no electrical hookup, and require Zero Maintenance.
Choosing the Right AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner for your Equipment
Although horsepower and low rating information for each AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner is provided in the table along the left side of this page, the easiest means of choosing the proper size unit of your application is to determine the inside diameter of the fuel line that you intend on mounting the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner on. If the inside diameter of the fuel line is a size for which there is no unit, use the next larges size unit. Using an AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner that is smaller than the inside diameter of your fuel line may cause a fuel flow restriction, especially at high rpm operations.
The AXI Magnetic Fuel conditioner is available in all sizes with either National Pipe Thread (NPT), commonly used in North America, or British Standard Pipe thread (BSP). Please order the appropriate version of the Magnetic Fuel Conditioner needed for the pipe standards in your country. Note that when fulfilling an order for a unit with BSP threads, we may ship an NPT threaded unit with adaptors to BSP threads.
Installation of the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner
The AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner is bi-directional. Either port may be used as the in-port or out-port. They are easily installed in the fuel line between the tank and the primary filter.
First, turn off the engine or circulating pump and close the necessary valves to assure that any cutting of the fuel line does not cause fuel to run from the tank or the engine side of the cut. Install the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner unit in the fuel system exclusively using connectors and fuel line of appropriate diameter, material and quality as recommended by the engine manufacturer. Apply fuel resistant sealant to all connectors and (if applicable) to the bleeder screw on the face of the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner. Check as necessary to make sure all fittings are properly tightened and no air is allowed to be enter the fuel line or the AXI Magnetic fuel conditioner after installation.
Use a pliable, non-hardening, Diesel Fuel Resistant paste or gasket forming sealant on threads. When using Teflon tape make sure it is resistant to diesel fuel and oil as some of these products are primarily designed for water applications.
The AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner are mounted either horizontally or vertically, but NOT with the round side of the unit facing down. We recommend to NOT use 90 degree elbows or sharp curves when installing the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner in the fuel line. Properly installed AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioners will not cause a pressure drop within the recommended flow capacity range.
After installation, check to insure that all connectors are tight and secure. Use bleeder screws (if included on the model being installed) on the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner, as well as on filters and pumps to bleed all air out of the fuel system, and again check for fuel and/or air leaks. Your AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner is now ready for a lifetime of trouble-free service.
Operation of the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner
Fuel travels in a circular path through the IN port of the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner around the treatment chamber to the OUT port. fuel emerging from the unit has been effectively decontaminated. The AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner treat fuels sent down stream to the filter, the engine and via the return line back to the fuel tank.
Under normal operating conditions, with engines returning a sufficient amount of excess fuel not used in combustion back to the tank, the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner will clean the entire system by simply running the engines.
Prior use of biocides will not damage the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner. However, once the system has been completely decontaminated and the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner is properly installed thee is no more need for these chemicals. Solids that have formed as a result of using chemicals can be removed from the fuel by filtration or dissolving by use AXI Diesel Fuel Catalyst AFC-705.
When engines are not used for longer periods of time, to preserve the integrity of your fuel the use of an AXI Mobile Tank Cleaning System and AXI Diesel Fuel Catalyst AFC-705 is recommended every three to six months, depending on the climate of your location. The AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner is a reliable, inexpensive and valuable part a plan to keep your diesel fuel in optimal condition, but if the fuel is not running from the tank, through the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner and eventually back to the tank, than it cannot do its job and the fuel will eventually degrade and become contaminated.
Maintenance of your AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner
The magnet in your AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner is a permanent magnet. The unit is Direct Flow-Thru, Self- Cleaning and requires virtually no maintenanceAs long as the unit is not abused, dropped, or damaged, the unit will continue to function normally.
At times, metal fuel tanks will rust and ferrous metal type debris may come into a tank from a fuel fill-up or other means. Any metals that can be drawing to a magnet that may enter your fuel line could stick to the magnet. This is not bad in that it will stop any such metal from passing through your filters, damaging pups and injectors. This will become evident if your develop a fuel restriction and have the resultant loss of power, usually at high rpm. Should this happen, remove the screws from the faceplate, taking care not to damage the O-ring that seals the faceplate to the main body of the unit. Carefully wipe of the magnet with a shop rag and replace it into the body of the unit, and reattach the face plate. Take care to not over-tighten the face plate screws. Bleed to unit if necessary to remove any air.
You may experience after some years of operation a problem with the O-ring degrading and allowing a leak of fuel from around the faceplate. You will note that we sell parts kits for all AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioners that include a new O-right and new screws for the use in this maintenance task.
When fuel is used from a tank, the fuel is replaced with air typically drawn in from the outside of the tank. Moisture and microbes are commonly pulled into the tank. Temperature changes will cause the moisture in the air to condense on the walls of the fuel tank and these droplets of water will eventually find their way to the bottom of the tank. Accumulated water in the tank bottom is the habitat in which the microbes grow. Tanks should be checked at least every sixty (60) days to be assured that water is not accumulating. Without a place to reproduce, the microbes will float around and eventually be pulled into the fuel flow and routed through the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner, and the microbes will not reproduce and will not adversely affect your engines efficient operation.
The Warranty on your AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner.
The AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner is MADE IN THE USA and has a Lifetime Warranty against manufacturing defects. AXI International nor Pecuniary, Inc. will be responsible for improper installation or its results.
Redistribution, retransmission, republication or exploitation of the contents of this site is expressly prohibited without the written consent of Pecuniary, Inc. This is not the AXI-International, Inc. Web Site.