How Dirty Diesel Fuel Can Endanger Lives at a Hospital

April 26th, 2012
Contaminated and Purified Diesel Fuel Oil Sample

Diesel Fuel Oil Sample: Before/After

How can dirty fuel endanger lives at a hospital? Well, if there is a power outage, how does the hospital keep its equipment running in case of an emergency? Like any other critical operation, they use emergency power systems such as back-up generators in conjunction with uninterruptible power supplies. But how do the back-up generators produce electrical power? Many of them convert chemical energy to electrical energy by burning clean diesel fuel oil. At least this was the case with a hospital that called me recently.

The president of this particular hospital was concerned about the quality of the fuel oil in the generator tanks because it had been sitting for a while. Fuel that sits goes bad. Therefore, from time to time the diesel storage tanks that are used for the standby generators must be treated and filtered. If no one does this, the generators will not work properly on stale fuel, right when they’re needed most, which would be a catastrophe! The president asked me if we could help them analyze and, if necessary, purify the diesel fuel to ensure continuous operation of the generators in case of a power interruption.

We checked out the diesel fuel oil by running a few pre-service oil analysis tests. All our tests showed heavy bacterial growth, free water contamination, and heavy amounts of solid particulates. The fuel definitely needed to be treated immediately! We collaborated closely with them from start to finish, and we designing and built a custom mobile filtration system to meet their needs. We utilized Facet filter elements along with a custom pre-filter vessel to ensure high quality results. After we finished purifying the fuel, our post-service oil analysis showed much better results. The diesel fuel passed all fuel quality standards and it was approved as “safe to use” for their emergency back-up generators. Sooner or later that hospital is bound to have a power failure, but I felt good knowing that many lives are going to be saved as a result of the them having clean diesel fuel. Success once again!

Do you have a question about filtering diesel fuel or about hydraulic filter systems? Feel free to contact us anytime. Our friendly team of experts will be happy to help you out with your particular issue.

Until next time!

Charlie at PFP Charlie at Precision Filtration Products

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