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This presentation is largely a documentation of events that took place in Montreal when a major fuel oil distribution company inadvertently received contaminated fuel oil from a refinery and delivered it to a large number of customers, many of whom experienced operational problems. The contaminants were mostly salt (sodium chloride), sediment, and moisture, and the operational problems revolved around damage to the customer's fuel systems, principally corrosion of fuel pumps, leading to malfunction and failure. Many fuel line filters were also plugged by sediment, principally rust. Steps were then taken to repair the customer's contaminated and damaged fuel systems; to remove all traces of contaminants from the company distribution system; and, in future, to monitor on a daily basis by laboratory tests the quality of fuel received from the refinery. In particular, a simple conductivity device was built and used to test newly delivered fuel for the presence of conducting contaminants, such as salt and water.
middle distillate, No. 2 fuel oil, contaminants, water, sodium chloride, system corrosion, system failure, problem identification, remedial action, effective testing, realistic specification limits
Manager, S. Albert Co. Ltd., Montreal, Que.
Technical officer, Fuels & Lubricants Section, Division of Mechanical Engineering, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ont.