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A brief review of the history of microbial contamination of distillate hydrocarbon fuels is followed by a discussion of the major fungal and bacterial genera responsible and the conditions necessary for their proliferation. Microorganisms cause problems because they promote corrosion, and their physical presence leads to plugging of coalescers, filters, and orifices and the malfunction of fuel system gages. Interactions among different microbial fuel contaminants may enhance or inhibit their growth, and simple changes in conditions in the aqueous medium, such as pH, might be exploited as a means of controlling microbial growth. New biocides are available that promise to control microbial fuel contaminants at very low concentrations and in the presence of fuel tank sludge.
fuel, contamination, microbes, fungi, bacteria, Amorphotheca (Cladosporium) resinae, sulfate-reducing bacteria, biocides
Research chemist, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC