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Overview of Microbiological Attack

Microbial problems were seen at their height in the early eighties. There has been a reduction in the
number of incidents although the problem has never fgone away. In addition whereas effects were seen
ainly in distillate fuels and lubricants, it is now seen in residual fuels, drinking and ballast water. Failure to
eradicate completely a re put down to advserse trading, poor training and housekeeping, environmental
restrictions in the use of microbial agents and the restrictions in bilge pumping placed by MAR!"
MICROBES
Microbiological contamination consisting of bacteria, yeasts and moulds, are easily tolerated at low
contamination levels. It is only when their numbers are not controlled that rapid infestation occurs
From a marine point of view there are si# main areas of concern for microbiological infestation.
These are$
%. &istillate fuel'
(. "ubricating oil'
). *ooling water'
+. ,ilge water'
-. ,allast water'
.. &istillate cargoes.
Conditions promoting growth
In each case, it is to be remembered that microbes are living organisms and their growth depends upon
the readily availability of water, nutrients, heat, o#ygen /or sometimes lack of it0 within an otherwise
acceptable environment.
Water
The main re1uirement for microbiol activity is water. This must be available water and not 2ust
water content. bA typical minimum value is %3. This can happern due to insufficient draining. The
presence of free water can lead to rapid micorbiol growth after % week at )45*. 6here water is dispersed
then growth is limited the microbes e#isting in water droplets or surrounded with a water sheath.
Modern lead7free gasolines contain water soluble o#ygenates such as methyl and ethyl alcohol, methyl
tertiary butyl ether these along with antifree8e glyciol when migrted to the water phase cause a
depression in microbiol activity. The level of glycol must be above a minimum as below this the glycol can
actually promote growth
!trients
9ydrocarbons and chemical additives in the fuel and lubricant act as their food source. In addition to this
are nutritive matter found in contaminated water either fresh or sea water. :ea water in addition
promotes the growth of sulphate reducing bacteria. *argo residues , particularly for ships carrying such
thinks like fertilisers are also sources. The presence of rust and other particulates can promote growth.
ote that clean dr" f!el kept at reasonable temperat!re will never permit an"
significant growth
#emperat!re
6arm enginerooms / %- 7 )-5*0 provide the ideal breeding ground for microbiol growth. Too hot /;45*0 or
too cold /-5*0 will retard growth
Environment
Most corrosive forms of bacteria prefer astable environment and dislike adgitation. Thus ships in lay up or
ships that spend long periods inactive are particularly susceptible. 6ater leakage or condenstaion will ten
provide the living environment. The microbes live in the water phase but feed on nutrients in the oil phase
this the boundary area sees agressive growth.
Indications
The unpleasant by7products of their digestion, after hydrocarbons have been o#idised into acids, include
to#ic and pungent hydrogen sulphide. This is produced from any sulphurous compounds within the fuel,
lubricant, seawater or waste product. Microbial growth is seen as a characteristic sludge formed from
accumulated cellular material which may restrict fuel and lubricant pipe lines and filters.
#"pes of Microbes
There are three basic types of micro organsims that cause problems in the marine industry, these are
bacteria, yeasts and moulds.
Bacteria
Bacteria can be subdivided into
1. Aerobic Bacteria Require oxygen to survive.
2. Anaerobic Bacteria Live in the absence of oxygen
3. Facultative Bacteria Live with or without oxygen
,acteria is a highly diverse group of single celled organisms with rigid cell walls. They may be
rod like, spherical or spiral and many are actively mobile with a whip like appendage /flagellum0. They can
reproduce ase#ually and rapidly using binary fission with a doubling time of as low as (4 minutes. They
are design to reproduce rapidly when the time is rigth and some are able to produce e#tremely resistant
spores able to withstand high temperatures and disinfectants.
Although in the main they prefer neutral or slightly alkaline environments some can e#ist in
the e#tremes of acid. They can e#crete partial breakdown products on which other forms of bacteria can
feed. In addition they can produce large amounts of e#tra7cellular slime which coats and stabilises the
living environment. This slime can protect against or deactivate biocides. This slime can prevent the
diffusion of o#ygen to the base of the growth and thereby promote :uulphate Reducing ,acteria which are
particularly agressive.
$easts
These are unicellular, being ovoid or spherical in shape some may also produce rudimentary
filaments. They reproduce by budding and growing off the parent untill large enough to seperate. This
process may take several hours.They prefer slightly acidity
Mo!lds
Multicellular with hard chitinous cell walls.They are ususally found as branched hyphaeforming
a thick, tough intertwined mat occurring most commonly at oil<water interfaces. They reproduce by
branching and can double there length in a few hours. They can also produce spores.
They prefer slightly acidic conditions, using o#ygen in their feeding process they produce by
products suitable for other microbes to feed and an atmosphre suitable for :ulphate Reducing bacteria.
They reduce comple# hydrocarbons to simpler carbon compounds. Intensive corrosion can
occur under the mat. They can be both sea water and temperature tolerant
S!lphate Red!cing Bacteria %SRB&
These are a specific group of anaerobic bacteria with special growth re1uirements. They can
only use simple carbon compounds therefore they re1uire the prescence of other microbes. They will
produce hydrogen :ulphide in the prescence of sulhure containing compounds such as sulphates found in
sea water.
&esulfotomaculum has the added ability to produce e#tremely hardy spores able to resist
e#posure to air, heat and most biocide chemicals. ,oth this and &esulfovibrio are very insiduous and able
to rapidly cause corrosion in ships hull and machinery
So!rces of contamination
Infestation can come from contaminated sea water or hydrocarbons, from a source already onboard or by
poor onboard practices
Sea Waters
The oceans contain a very small density of microbes, htis was also partially true for harbours
until such things like contamination by oil spills and fertiliser wash off from arable land as well as
chemicals such as corrosion inhibitors changed the constituents of the water. 9arbours can thus be rich in
microbes includig hydrogen degraders and large numbers of :R,
Refiner" 'ractices
Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the supply of contaminated fuels to vessels
with an underlying cause of bad housekeeping. This has been particularly prevalent in =astern =urope
where protection by detection, heating, filtering and biocides are recommended. !n particular cause is the
washing of tanks using contaminated river water that not only introduces the microbes but also sources of
nutrients particularly >itrogen and hosphorus
It sho!ld be noted that generall" microbes have and sg of abo!t ()*+ so will tend to settle to
the bottom of the tank) It is therefore possible to limit the deliver" of contamination b" settling
and floating s!ctions
Onboard
Typical locations where contamination is found are;
BilgesPolluted water and the presence of hydrocarbons in wells that are not pumped fully dry
can lead to infestation with SRB, localised pitting and eventually perforation. It is
recommended that were it is not posiible to remove all the contents from a well then the
contents should be agitated or freshen by the introduction of water to prevent stagnation.
uelIt is inevitable that some contamination will always be brought on board with this. It is
then essential to ensure that the amount of available water in the fuel be !ept to an absolute
minimum. In addition warmth promotes the growth and tan!s such as service tan!s that
receive the heated recirculated fuel form the engine are particularly susceptible.
"ubricating #ils It is unusual to find microbiol growth in normal use lube oil systesm due to
the operating temperatures. $owever it can occur after a period of inactivity.
the worst case I have seen was on a stea turbine vessel after a !erio" in
"oc#. $his occurre" early on in y career so I cannot reeber all the facts
but in a siilar circustance I woul" loo# at the con"ition of the "ehu"ifier
for the gearbox to ensure it is wor#ing correctly.
$ydraulic oil s are more susceptible especially were air ingress occurs and the
o%ygen diffuses into it. &icrobes can increase cavitation damage by acting as nucleus for the
bubble formations. Thus it is common to have biocides encompassed into the oil
S"mptoms
ME,I-M .-E/ /-BRICA#
BI/0E 1 BA//AS#
WA#ER
?isual Aggregation of microbes into a
biomass, observed as discolouration,
turbidity and fouling.
,iosurfactants produced by bacteria
promote stable water ha8es and
encourage particulate dispersion.
urifiers and coalescers which rely on
a clean fuel<water interface, may
malfunction.
Tank pitting.
:limy appearance of the oil'
the slime tends to cling to
the crankcase doors.
Rust films.
9oney7coloured films on the
2ournals, later associated
with corrosion pitting.
,lack stains on white metal
bearings, pins and 2ournals.
,rown or grey<black
The formation of slimes
and sludges which are
black themselves or are
black when scraped.
itting of steel work, pipes
and tank bottoms.
Rapid corrosion of plating.
deposits on metallic parts.
*orrosion of the purifier
bowl and newly machined
surface.
:ludge accumulation in
crankcase and e#cessive
sludge at the purifier
discharge.
aint stripping in the
crankcase.
!perational
,acterial polymers may completely
plug filters and orifices within a few
hours.
Filters, pumps and in2ectors will foul
and fail.
>on uniform fuel flow and variations in
combustion may accelerate piston
rings and cylinder liner wear rates and
affect cam7shaft tor1ue.
Additive depletion.
Rancid or sulphitic smells.
Increase in oil acidity or
sudden loss of alkalinity.
/,>0
:table water content in the
oil which is not resolved by
the purifier.
Filter plugging in heavy
weather.
ersistent demulsification
problems.
Reduction of heat transfer
in coolers.
@nusual foul or sulphitic
smells.
:tructural damage.
"oss of suction in pipelines.
.!el
6hen heavily contaminated fuel is brought onboard some or all of the problems listed above will be
encountered within a short period of time. articularly filter blocking and purifier malfunction. More long
term will see in2ector and pump failures
2!ick Appraisal of distilates
It is possible to ma!e a 'uic! (udgement on the degree of contamination in distillates
Sterlise a clear bottle and ta!e a sample
)ny contaminationa will be apparent as a ha*e causes by the presence of sludge. This sludge
shoiuld readily disperse by agitation. It will tend to settle out and stic! to the sides. ) blac!
coloured sludge indicates the presence of SRB
Repaeat the process for each fuel location to find the cleanest fuel. If only heavily
contaminated is available this should be left to settle as long as possible. +ere possible fuel
should be drawen only via a filter, coalescer or purifier from the higher levels in the tan!s. The
use of a biocide at this point is inadvisable as the dislodges biofilms will tend to bloc! all
filters.
Ta!e a sample from the bottom of the tan! and send to labratory for ,fingerprinting, against the
bun!er supplier
/!bricating Oil
6hen operated normally there are few microbes able to live succesfully in the nutrient and
environmentally deficient lubricating oil
Bilge 1 ballast Water
roblems are normally associated with the presence of :R, pitting corrosion and is indicated by a
sulphorus smell. reventative action should be taken as soon as possible
S"stems Affected b" Microbiol attack
.!el
Microbiologicalcontamination of distillates / rather than residual0 fuels have been a well known
phenomenom for some time. The changing chemistry of the fuels and the increaseing use of fuel additives
have e#asperated this.
6hilst being rich in carbon sources the fuels are often poor in inorganic nutrients such as
>itrogen, hosphorous and otassium and this by themselves do not promote rapid growth. These may be
supplied by contaminated water or fuel additives entering the fuel.
Initial infestation will break down such components as n7alkenes to form alcohols and fatty
acids. These are in turn used by other microbes and thus a self replensishing system is created in the free
water
=volution has led to new species of bacteria in distillate fuels that produce sticky
polysaccharide polymers similar to Aling fim5. These clog filters and other apertures by trapping rust. Thus
the microbila contamination appears as a grey<brown sludge at the water<oil interface.
:tagnancy can lead to severe microbiol activity in long term fuel sorage tanks. The effect of
this is to reduce the chain length of the hydrocarbons reducing the overall calorific value. In addition
souring may occur as the microbes metabolises hydrogen sulphide. Altering the fuels chemical structure
can have the effect of changing its pour point, cloud point and its thermal stability.
The formation of stable growth at the water interface can lead to maloperation of purifiers and
coalescers
Attack by :R, and moulds can infuse hydrogen sulphide and other acidic products into the
fuel leading to direct acidic attack. The lower p9 particularly effects copper, aluminium and there alloys
such as bron8e. The depolorisation of steel leads to pitting
The most obvious effect of microbiol attack is filter and component blocking. In addition the
fuel can become non7homogenous leading to variations in combustion and cylinder pressures. Increase
liner and piston ring wear rates can result
It sho!ld be noted that the higher temerpat!res of resid!al f!els diss!ade the
growth of microbes altho!gh not completel"
This shows a gas oil service tank opened up for inspection after premature fuel filter blockages. The
overall depth of the sludge seen in the bottom is about 5cm. The black growth occurred in several
patches to a height of a few centimeters and was foamy in texture. The tank was cleaned and refilled
with gas oil. Biocide was dosed to normal preventative levels and instructions given to watchkeepers
for better drainage of this tank. No further problems was experienced
/!bricating Oil
Benerally associated with egines with water cooled pistons were the chance of water ingress is higher.
Infestations, including those found in hydraulic oils are indicated by a slimy deposit and blocked filters
I have seen this in a C system which had blade seal leakage. Before the system was overhauled it
was necessary to change the pressure filters every two months. !fter overhaul and the removal of
water this dropped to " year and event then only on running hours
,lack stains may be seen and a rancid odour noticeable. If :R, as present, this is normally
only the case in laid up ships, then severe pitting on ferrous and non7ferrous components may result
As the microbes tend to feed on the constituents and additives of the lube oil it effectiveness
will be reduced as well as increased acidity and emulsification.
Typical sources of contamination are sea water / from coolers0,bilge water, fuel and cooling
water. The latter has increased in severity due to the banning of the use of chromates for cooling water
treaments which had good biocide properties.
The use of increase alkaline lube oils has seen a reduction of microbiol attacks
Cooling water
The first indication is often destruction of the treatment reserves and the water will gradually become
acidic. The coolant may be discoloured and have a strong odour and deposit scums or slimes. !il emulsion
coolants will tend to stratify.
The initial infestation will be by aerobic bacteria which, when they have depleted the dissolved
o#ygen the can then get the o#ygent by reducing chemicals such as >itrates producing ammonia or
nitrogen. =ventually the water becomes so o#ygen depleted that anaerobic microbes such as :R, will
grow. this progression can occur in a matter of days
Bilge Water
This can contain comple# groups of bacteria, yeast of moulds. These groups can contain varieties of
species not only at a ships level but even in the same system. Thus it is difficult to identify e#actly what
individual components are re1uired to lead to corrosion it is more useful to identify what groups will.
9ydrocarbons and other organic matter enter the bilge water and are degraded by specilaised
microorganisms call 5hydrocarbonclastic5. This re1uires the presence of dissolved o#ygen.
The degraded carbon compounds can then act as food for :R, which e#tract and use the o#ygen in
sulphates / but cannot toleretate molecular or dissolved o#ygen0. Thus there are two distinct
environments in the bilge water. The position of the boundary depends upon the level of reo#ygenation of
the water surface. This in itself is dependent on such things as surface area, agitation etc but is unlikely to
be much above the base of the bilge and more likely to be found in any mud there.
The reduction of the sulphates found in sea water produces corrosive sulphides. :ulphur
containing hydrocarbons tend to lead to hydrogen sulphide
Any detection of :R, in the bilge water will generally inndicate a severe infestation as the
ma2oritory of the bacteria will be found in a slime at the steel plate surface.
&icroorgansim action can have the affect of altering the electro-potential of the water and accelerate
the electrochemical corrosion process. The process may be desribed as follows
1. Aerobic icroorganiss aggregating in slies% u"s or crevices use u! the available oxygen
in their ie"iate vicinity an" create an oxygen "eficient area. In electrocheical ters% such
an area will be ano"ic in relation to relatively oxygen rich &ones with fewer icrobes. $his
oxygen gra"ient ay be regar"e" as an electrocheical cell% !reci!itating the electron flux
fro the catho"e to the ano"e% allowing "ee! ano"ic corrosion !its to "evelo!. In a""ition% the
icrobial by'!ro"uct which is a very corrosive aci"% also acts as an electrolyte within the cell.
2. $he foration of !its is not entirely an electron !rocess base" u!on aerobic bacteria. $hese
oxygen "eficient areas are colonise" by the anaerobic (RB% which !ro"uces )( an" (
2'
ions
an" hy"rogen sul!hi"e. $hese ions are highly aggressive towar"s steel an" yellow etals%
an" for the characteristic craters. In carbon steel% a carbon s#eleton reains visible as a
gra!hite blac# colour an" the botto of each !it is usually blac# ferrous sul!hi"e.
3. (iultaneously% (RB "e!olarise the surface steel. $he steel becoes !rogressively ore
!orous% susce!tible to hy"rogen ingress an" hy"rogen ebrittleent. *hen ferrous sul!hi"e
fors% it is itself catho"ic an" thus continues to "rive the electron flow an" ano"ic !itting%
even after the (RB have "ie" or becoe less active. +orrosion "riven by ferrous sul!hi"e is
thought to be ost !ronounce" "uring interittent aeration or in the !resence of oxygen
gra"ients.
These effects can occur in isolation or together and can have the effect of increasing natural
corrosion rates of 4.4-mm per year to %4mm per year.
actors effecting microbiological attac! in bilge water include;
Ingress into bilge of polluted water
.utrients contained in water ingress
Some micribes sucha s SRB are very temperature senisitve, Bilges tend to be at the ideal of /0
to 10,2. ) reduction to 0,2 will see a significant reduction in microbe growth. +here warm
water continuoulsy enters bilge 3 say condensate drain4 then this area may see significantly
more activity.
Regular pumping of bilges not only removes the nutrients fror SRB 3 remembering that they
re'uire other bacteri to brea! down chydrocarbons to simpler compounds4 but will also
remove the aerobic bacteria themselves and lowers the o%ygen depletion layer to a position it
can effect the SRB on the plates.
Ingress of nutrients through shipboard sources. In addition detergents emulsify the oil and
tend to ma!e it more available for the microbes to use.
Ballast Water
*orrosion follows as similar process as seen in bilge water. In addtion it may contain microorganisms that
are also harmfull to health such as cholera and botulism.
The ballast water can act as a transport for microbes distributing them into areas where they can act as
parasites and pathogens. Recent legislation re1uiring the freshening of ballast mid ocean has only partly
solved this with microbes able to remain in the mud and silt oin the bottom of the tank
,istillate Cargoes
There are many types of microbes taht can use hydrocarbons and these can form the basis of differing
symbiotic groups. T9ese differing froups allow finger printing of the carog and the source of contamination
/ say from previous loadings 0 can be tracked.
'revention and elimation of Microbial Contamination
'revention
There are three generally accepted and commercially viable methods of prevention. These are good
housekeeping, physical cleaning and biocides.
actors controlling the rate of microbiological problems are;
Infestation, this is nearly impossible to prvent
The si*e of inital infestation
'hs"ical prevention
6ithout water it is not possible to have microbial growth. Thus the first line in prevention is the removal of
water, generally the more water the greater will be the problem. It is inevitable that there will always be
some water with the oil, whether brought in when loading , through leaks or through condensation. Thus
the need to constantly purify a system. This is seen on fuel systems where oil is taken from a settling tank
to a service tank where it overflows back to the settling tank./ it should be noted that purifiers can act as
a source of cross contamination and sterilisation after use on a system is recomended. Tanks should be
fitted with drain cocks at there lowest points and should be drained regularly.
It should be noted that dead legs and other area where flow is minimal will tend to see
increased attack therefore these should be designed out of the system. Rust and mud should not be
allowed to accumulate as these can lead to growth.
6here possible tanks temperatures should be outside the %-7)-5* optimum growth range and
preferably be as high as practical which ensures sterilisation. The down side of this is an increase in boil
off of lighter fractions in residual fuels which has led to the use of vapour recovery systems
It should be noted that modern microbes are capable of enclosing them selves in protective
coatings against water removal. ,iofilms on the plate surface are unlikely to be removed by water draining
alone. 6ater draining should be carried out regularly. At each occasion the vale should be operated in
small bursts to allow water to move to the cock. The used of surfctants for cleaning can cause increased
attack in bilge water as it allows the microbes to move more freely into the oil phase. The commonest
source of water contamination in "ube oil is coolers and piston cooling water. =very effort should be made
to keep leakage to a minimu and water content should not be allowed to increase to greater than 4.-3
per vol. The purifier should be set to a minimum temperature of ;45* and preferably higher and a flow
rate ensuring complete charge circulation every C to %4 hours.
Cooling Water
It should be recognised that cooling water is not only affected by microbial attack it is also a
common cause of infestation in other systems.
The following recomendations are made;
5nsure correct treatment levels
monitor al!alinity and ensure p$ greater than 6
&inimise amount of salts in the system that can act as nutrients
Test for microbial contamination regularly. ) polished mild steel bar placed in the bottom of
the tan! can act as an indicator of the prescence of SRB
Bilge Water
The present restrictions with regard to the pumping of bilges is the main reason for the
increase occurence of microbial related failures. It should be noted that once infestation has occurred
dosing with biocides will not remove it by itself as it will not penetrate the biofilm at normal, safe dosages.
*leaning is essential not only to remove the microbes but also to remove the mud D slime environments.
This can have the added advantage of removing the ferrous sulphide formed by the :R, which acts as a
cathoe to the steel of the hull.
The following recomendations are made;
Pump regularly and prevent stagnation. This will help remove the hydrocarbon food and re-
o%ygenate the water
)pply coating. This must be complete or holidays will act as foci for attac!
7se cathodic protection to remove the electro potential that is generated by feeding micorbes
Ballast Water
roblems are usually attributed to :R,
The following recomendations are made;
inspect tan! coatings for failures
Regularly remove mud and slime
+here tans! are not in use they should be !ept as dry as possible
+here possible restrict using poor sources of water and test regularly.
Chemical 'revention
Fuel preservatives or biocides are not designed to cope with large infestations. Instead they should be
used as a preventative. The biocide may be water soluble or fuel solubel depending on the longevity
re1uired of protection. For tanks re1uiring long term protection water soluble agents are generally used.
The agent remaining in the tank during fuel changes.
Typical properties of duel preservatives are;
2ombustible and clean burning without ash
.ot surface active
compatible with fuel additives and system components
.ot affect flash point
.ot promote corrosion
safe to use in normal use concentrations
8estroy a wide range of microbes
ast acting
)ble to penetrate and disperce biofilm
.ot effect 'uality of fuel 3 or lubricating 'ualities when added to lubricating oils4
in the main they should be water soluble
they should contain dispersants to aid with the removal of debris
environmentally friendly
"ube oil preservatives or biocides may be useful as a preventative but tend to break down
rpaidly under normal operating temperatures
6ater preservatives or biocides are watersoluble as in water soluble fuel treatment. They
must adhere to re1uisite safety standards especially with 2acket water heated evaporators.
Elimination
'h"sical ,econtamination
Microorganisms do not die naturally E they must be killed. !nce microbial infection is established onboard
it may be combatted by physical treatment methods e.g. heat and<or by the use of biocides. The dead
microbes can still block filters.
Physical removal can be one of the following methods
Settling The microbes can settle out to the bottom of a tan! because they have an sg of /.90
2entrifuges . They can be efficiently removed with purifiers.
iltration 5ven though the microbes can be much smaller than the filter mesh it is still possible
to remove them by proper staged filteration
$eat This is a function of both temperature and time at that temperature. ) temperatue of over
:9,2 for ;9 minutes is effective in !illing the microbes. $owever this is difficult to acheive at
the plate surfaces and it may be necessary to sterilse the tan! first say by the use of steam
lances before filling with oil for heat reating.
Chemical ,econtamination
Filling microbes using microbes is easy and effective, however the selection of chemicals appropriate for
the system application and should be done with care. :uch things as compatibility and ha8ards should be
taken into account.
It is arguable that elimination after infestation is cheaper than continuous preventative
dosing.6here contamination is heavy it may be necessary to add such high concentrations of biocide to
make the fuel unusable. It would then ahave to be discharged and the system mechaincally cleaned.
similarly for lube oils heavy contamination will lead to loss of the lube oil.
For cooling water care hs to be taken when chosing the biocide to ensure it is temperature
stable.
6hilst biocide treatment of bilge water is commercially viable / taking into account the cost of
steel replacement0, it is difficult to select and effective solution. This is particularly the case for :R, which
is able to produce e#tremely resistant spores.
Suggeested course of action for bilges suffering microbial attac!;
7se commercial detergent hypochlorite bleaches to brea! down bio films
7se broad spectrum biocide to supress all growth
7se narrow spectrum biocides to target against SRB
Pump bilges regualarly and prevent stagnation
)dd al!aline nitrate cooling water treatments to area where !nown SRB attac! is occuring to
reduce effects of hydrogen sulphide and other acidic by products.
It is advantageous to o%ygentate the water using chemicals such as hydrogen pero%ide
For ballast systems the only effective method of elimination is the removal of sludges, muds
and slimes
Alternatives to biocides
These include;
7< Radiation
=amma and %-ray
7ltrasound
&icrowave
2ontinuous pasteuristion and heat control
health considerations
>ormal disease producing microbes are not usually found in fuel or lubricating oils. 9owever there are
some aerosol born bacteria that can cause flu like symptoms
!f more concern is hydrogen :ulphide produced by S!lphate Red!cing bacteria %SRB&.
This is very to#ic in even mild doses. It initally produces a distinctive 5rotting egg5 smell. 9owever a small
increase in concentratin is enough to allow it to neutralise the sense of smell therefore it is possible to
believe the source has disapeared when in fact it is increasing. It will eventually lead to death
1-09 ppm #ffensive odour.
09-199 ppm In(uries to eyes, respiratory tract, di**iness.
/99 ppm "oss of sense of smell.
199 ppm "ife threatening.
:99 ppm Rapidly lethal.
,iocide chemicals are themselves to#ic and care should be taken in their handling and dosage.
The traditional method of using chlorine against such bacteri found in air conditioning etc can
be limited especially against the biofilm in which the multi7specy microbe colonies are able to e#ist stably.
The above is based for the main part by an artical by R.A. Stuart