The AXI MTC-X Mobil Tank Cleaning (MTC) System is a two-stage mobile fuel conditioning and tank cleaning system. It efficiently reconditions, stabilizes and decontaminates Diesel Fuel, Bio-Diesel and light Hydraulic Fluids. It efficiently removes sludge, water and sediments that naturally accumulate in tanks. The MTC-X system excels in low operating cost and compact design, and cleans tanks and restores fuels and oils to their "Clear & Bright" condition. It eliminates fuel "algae" issues, clogged filters and tank sludge, providing Optimal Fuel Quality for Peak Engine Performance and Reliability.
All storage tanks naturally accumulate water, solids and sludge resulting from condensation and the degradation of fuel and oil. The more fuel we put into and take out of a tank the more debris and water will accumulate in the bottom. ALGAE-X Fuel Conditioning and Filtration Systems eliminate the need for costly periodic tank cleaning, while stabilizing and extending the shelf life of fuel. This is extremely important for all applications of long-term fuel storage, especially emergency generators.
Consider the two fuel samples at the left. The darker sample on the left was taken before the Tank Cleaning and shows the effects of fuel degradation and the formation of suspended solids. The sample on the right was taken after cleaning the tank and restoring the fuel to its Optimal Clear and Bright condition.
The AXI Mobile Tank Cleaning System is compact, easy to operate and extremely versatile. It is ideal for use:
at marinas, to clean tanks on board all types of vessels
at construction sites
in remote areas with on-site fuel storage for heavy equipment
at cell phone tower sites to service backup power requirements
by municipal or governmental entities that have numerous first responder facilities served by backup emergency power equipment over a wide area
in service trucks maintaining standby generators.
in truck/vehicle depots
at businesses that rent diesel powered equipment
at railroads or other facilities where equipment is serviced outside
There are several Symptoms that you have a fuel problem. The MTC-X Mobil Tank Cleaning System will solve the problem, not just treat the Symptom. These are the Symptoms you should look for to determine if you have a problem with your diesel fuel:
Pre-mature Loss of Engine Performance: Diesel engine manufacturers recommend you change your fuel filter at 15,000 miles (300 hours), and you should have acceptable engine performance up to that point. If you find your engine performance at 5,000 miles (100 hours) or less is suffering from power loss, and changing the filter restores your engine performance, then you have a potential fuel problem.
Clogged and Slimy Filters: If you find that your fuel filter is black, has course material on the outside of the filter media, and maybe is covered with a slimy material, than you have a definite fuel problem.
Dark and Hazy Fuel: Water gets into the fuel tank in may ways. It can come from the fuel supplier, drawn in through the tank vent as fuel is drawn out of the tank, with condensation changing moist air to droplets, or it can come from bio-diesel, were water is a common problem. Hazy fuel is the result of water becoming emulsified into the fuel. This may be most noticeable after filling the fuel tank when water in the bottom of the tank gets stirred up.
Sludge Build-Up in the Tank: Asphalts, the heaviest constituents of crude oil, is in diesel fuel, but is in solution and is not apparent from a visual inspection of good fuel. Degraded fuel turns dark as the asphaltene component sticks together and grows in size, becoming visible as dark fuel and, as the asphaltene component gains weight, it sinks to the tank bottom and accumulates as a coating of what looks like roofing tar. Also, bio-sludge, from microbial (bacteria) contamination that resides in the water in the tank bottom, creates a byproduct of slime as they reproduce. Attempting to treat this symptom by using a biocide additive will convert this bio-slime into a solid, resulting in a gritty particulate accumulation in the tank bottom that often aggravates the core problem.
Loss of Power and RPM, and Corroded, Pitted Injectors: Fuel flow being reduced by clogged and slimy filters, the degradation of the diesel fuel, and the sulphate reducing bacterial contamination that creates acids all contribute to the compromise of engine components that clog and corrode injectors and compromise efficient engine operation. Expensive fuel injectors need replacement far before what is expected of such components.
Excessive Smoke and Soot from Exhaust: Compromised fuel causes a drop in the cetane number of the fuel, resulting in shorter combustion times for each cycle of the engine, and compromised engine injectors result in substandard spray patterns, all resulting in incomplete fuel combustion. The result is a visible increase in black smoke (unspent fuel) and soot being expelled from the exhaust (and visible on boat transoms or near exhaust stack) and higher levels of soot being apparent in engine oil analysis tests. Soot in the motor oil shortens the oil’s effective life and increases engine component wear.
Foul Odor from your Fuel Tank: All the above results in a foul "rotten eggs" odor emanating from the fuel tank.
AXI MTC-X Systems are built with industrial quality components mounted on a heavy-duty aluminum frame cart. These MTCs feature stainless steel plumbing and quick disconnect cam & groove fittings. A clear 1 1/2 inch suction hose shows fuel flow and clarity. The return pressure/discharge hose is 1 1/4 inch. The large drip tray is designed to prevent spillage.
It should be no surprise that a complete cleaning of the tank can only be accomplished with a full tank of fuel. If a tank is only half full, you will only be cleaning the bottom half of the tank! The First Phase of the fuel polishing process is to remove the water and heavy sludge from the tank bottom. During this phase the suction hose should pull off the bottom of the tank and the hose suction should be moved around the bottom of the tank to remove as much of the water and sludge as possible. This is most often accomplished by attaching a rigid pipe (with an inside diameter matching the inside diameter of the suction hose) to the suction end of the hose. A PVC pipe works fine, and a threaded connection is recommended so that the suction does not pull air through loose fittings, reducing the suction efficiency of the process. Water and sludge can be removed without using any consumables by using only the screen basket in the primary filter and setting the Diverter Ball Valve to bypass the secondary spin-on filters. During this phase, the water and sludge removed should be directed into a separate container, not back into the tank being cleaned. The water and sludge will need to be disposed of properly according to Federal, State and local regulations. After the water and sludge is removed (this is evident by watching the clear suction hose), its is time to begin the Second Phase of the fuel polishing process.
After you are satisfied that the bulk of the free water and sludge from the tank is removed, the Second Phase of the process begins. Place the discharge hose into the fuel tank and begin circulating the fuel. At this stage, you will not use filter bags in the basket in the Primary Filter, and you will continue to not use the Secondary Filters. The fuel suction hose should be moved around the bottom of the tank to bring as much additional residual water through the system as possible. During this phase, the Primary Filter will continue to remove water and the basket will continue to catch larger components of sludge in the tank. Monitor the sight glass and drain the water from the Primary Filter as necessary. When the amount of water being contained by the Primary Filter is down to near nothing, the Second Phase is complete. Note that during the Second Phase the Magnetic Fuel Conditioner is undertaking the process of polishing the fuel and dissolving the debris, returning the fuel to its desired "Clear & Bright" condition.
The Third Phase involves using filter bags in the Primary Filter Vessel and circulating the fuel in a closed loop, returning the treated fuel to the fuel tank. The return line should be positioned in the tank to cause maximum agitation in the tank. Returning the fuel to the opposite end of the tank is ideal, if possible. The secondary filters remain bypassed.
The beginning of the Third Phase is the time when the AFC-705 Diesel Fuel Catalyst should be added to the tank. This may be done by measuring the amount of AFC-705 that is required at a ratio of 1 oz. per 20 gallons of fuel. This equates to one gallon of AFC-705 to 2,500 gallons of diesel fuel. The measured amount of additive may be added directly into the fuel tank or, as an alternative, it may be added using the injection system built into the MTC-X equipment. Place the measured amount of AFC-705 in a container (a previously used gallon container of AFC-705 will work fine). The diverter valve should remain in bypass mode (bypassing the secondary filters). Place the AFC container into the leak basin and place the injection accessory suction line into the AFC-705 container to the bottom. The injection accessory will suction the pre-measured amount of AFC-705 into the flow of the fuel. Note that you must have available only the correct measured amount of additive, as the accessory suction injection system is not a measuring device. Place the accessory selector switch into the inject position and allow the system to run until the container is empty, injecting the pre-measured amount of additive into the fuel stream.
Note that the AFC-705 Diesel Fuel Catalyst contains a surfactant that will emulsify residual free water that remains in the tank up into the fuel. If you add the AFC-705 prior to performing the First Phase of removing and disposing of the free water from the tank and transferring it into a separate container for property disposal, or during the Second Phase when you are removing water by draining the Primary Filter there may be too much water emulsified into the fuel. Only that water that can not be removed during Phase One and Phase Two, i.e.: residual water, is to be emulsified into the fuel for removal during the next phase of the tank cleaning process.
If you are located in an area that requires fuel additives that comply with Tier 4 regulations, then this step should not be included in the process. AFC-710 Diesel Fuel Catalyst is a Tier 4 compliant additive and does not contain surfactants that will emulsify the residual water up into the fuel for later removal. The AFC-710 Diesel Fuel Catalyst should be added after the tank cleaning process is complete to stabilize your fuel, prevent sludge build-up and eliminate the need for expensive and toxic biocides.
During Phase Three, when cleaning badly contaminated tanks, coarse mesh bags may be used initially in the Primary Filter. Utilizing filter bags that are rated at 800 microns to first remove the worst of the contamination, and gradually working down in steps later in the Third Phase of the cleaning process to smaller micron rated felt filter bags, down to 5 and even 1 micron, allows for a gradual approach and a more controlled cleaning process. While the fuel circulates through the Primary Bag Filter, free water is captured in the Primary Filter vessel and a sight glass allows monitoring the level of water, indicating when to empty water from the vessel using the Primary Filter Drain Port. Differential gauges located on the front of the Primary Vessel indicate when the filter bag has become full and filtration efficiency is suffering. Sometimes filter bags may be emptied and re-used, but after a few uses they become badly coated and must be discarded, but they are less expensive than spin-on filters for removing sludge and particulates. The Secondary filters perform that valuable service in the next phase.
After sludge and slime have been removed down to 25 microns or smaller, it is time to begin the "Fourth Phase" of the process. Change the Diverter Ball Valve to direct fuel flow through the Secondary Filtration loop, consisting of two spin on filter elements. You can reduce the micron rating of the filter bags to extend the life of the spin-on filters, using a bag rated at 10 or even 5 microns. The spin-on elements used as Secondary Filtration allow you to customize the Fourth Phase of the process.
One of the spin-on filters provided with the MTC-X System is a "void filter". This is a filter that has the outside canister that spins onto the filter head, but inside there is no filtering medium. This allows you to concentrate the filtration with a single coarse secondary filter. If you used two coarse filters, only the first one would catch the particulates, but having two filters in use at this stage would result in a high restriction value when measuring the fuel flow. After cycling fuel through the coarse filter element, proceed to work with a finer filter element to remove finer particulates. Subsequent cycles allow for then using the fine filter element as filter no. 1, and a water block filter element as filter no. 2, capable of removing emulsified water from the fuel flow. You could start with a 5 micron particulate filter and a 10 micron water block, and then switch to a 1 micron particulate filter and a 3 micron water block, as an example.
As the Secondary Spin-On Filters collect more particulates, the restriction will increase until the filter element is at capacity. This is measured by individual Filter Differential Gauges, advising when the filter needs changed. As you change out filter elements from coarse filters to fine filters, if the course filter is not "used up", you may save the element when removed and use it again on a later treatment.
In each phase, the AXI Magnetic Fuel Conditioner is polishing the fuel. As the fuel flows through the Fuel Conditioner, the process of movement through the magnetic field disperses the asphaltene component of the fuel changing the dark fuel into "Clear & Bright" Fuel, and reducing the size and mass of clusters of fuel molecules. In combination with primary filter water separators, fuel conditioners prevent fuel degradation, and microbial contamination. They optimize fuel, keep your tanks clean and protect your engines by improving filterability, combustibility, and fuel stability.
After cleaning the tanks you will need to:
1. Stabilize the Fuel -- If AFC-705 Diesel Fuel Catalyst was added during the phased cleaning process as described above, the additive will continue to stabilize the fuel and prevent sludge build up for six to twelve months. If you are in a geographic region where use of Tier 4 compliant fuel additives are required, the AFC-710 Diesel Fuel Catalyst should be added at the end of the tank cleaning process to stabilize the fuel. The AFC-710 will continue to stabilize the fuel and prevent sludge for six to twelve months.
2. Prevent Water from Accumulating -- The use of AXI Water Eliminators will prevent water from accumulating in the tank. The water eliminators will absorb and remove any future water from condensation or other sources. Preventing water accumulation eliminates microbial growth and the need for toxic biocides.
3. Check tanks each month for water accumulation -- Checking for water in a fuel tank is as easy as putting a wood measure rod or length of PVC pipe into a tank opening at the top of the tank. Place a small amount of Water Finding Paste on the stick or pipe and insert it into the tank, reaching to the bottom. If water is present in the tank bottom, the paste will change colors.
4. Monitor Fuel Quality -- Liqui-Cult Fuel Test Kits are ideal to monitor your fuel supply for microbial contamination. The tests quantify bacterial and fungal activity. Depending on the size of the tanks, obtaining samples of fuel will vary. Diesel-fuels.com has available equipment for obtaining samples using several methods to acquire tanks samples.
An often asked question is how long should the above process take. Put another way, how much fuel needs to be circulated in order to do a good job of returning contaminated fuel to a "Clear & Bright" state. After completing the First Phase of the cleaning process involving removal of water and sludge to a separate container, it will typically require the circulation of the fuel in the tank five (5) times. Performing 5 cycles of the fuel will assure over 90% of the fuel is treated. If you are treating a 1,000 gallon tank, circulating the fuel five times will involve circulating 5,000 gallons of fuel. The MTC-X is rated at 26 gallons per minute. Therefore, 192 minutes (3.2 hours) would be required to do a complete fuel treatment.
If the fuel tank is cleaned on a regular basis, say once per year, then the ongoing preventative maintenance circulation of fuel may be reduced to three cycles. This is also dependent on where the tank is located, geographically. In more humid climates, more water is likely to be present in the tank, and in arid climates treatments could be scheduled further apart. Also consider the confidence you have in your fuel supplier. You may be cleaning fuel that comes from someone else's tank that is less maintained. In such cases, treating the tank each time a new delivery of fuel is accepted is advisable.
A highly requested option for the MTC-X is the Digital Flow Meter to monitor performance and measure the amount of fuel or oil is treated. Mount the Digital Flow Meter on the discharge side of the MTC-X.
Algae-X Tank Cleaning Systems significantly lower operating costs, save fuel, eliminate periodic tank cleaning and the build up of solids, sludge and acids.
Algae-X Technology enhances personnel safety and addresses environmental concerns by preventing the need for costly toxic biocides.
Larger capacity Mobile and Stationary Tank Cleaning Systems are available.
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