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When Dickens’ A Christmas Carol came out in 1843, the phase humbug was already in common use. Originally, the term was used to describe a trick or fraud. His novella assigned an anti-Christmas cheer to the term and since then it has been used to describe a curmudgeonly person. Aside from its literary reference around Christmastime, the word has another meaning often used to describe an invisible problem lurking in fuel. Humbug, short for Hydrocarbon Utilizing Microorganism – BUG.

Fuel quality if often unknown. When questioned about it, many fuel system operators will say their fuel quality is excellent. Not unlike the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge, humbug! There is nothing wrong with my fuel! The reality is most operators never check for fuel quality and have no idea what’s in their tank. Do you know what’s in your tank?

The images show what you might find in your tank. You really never know unless you sample and test your fuel. The image showing three samples is a good example of what you can find in a single tank from different locations. Each sample was taken at the same time, but from different locations in the tank. Notice the difference in each. Interestingly, they all tested positive for microbial growth – even the sample that looked clear and clean. How can I really know?

Three Easy Steps to Fuel Quality Management

  1. Test your fuel. In order to test the fuel, you need to pull a few samples from the tank. Remember the example above; you can get dramatically different looking samples taken from different tank locations. Once you have a few samples, test for microbial contamination using the Biobor Hum-Bug Detector Kit.
  2. Treat your fuel with Biobor JF to kill microbial contamination and to protect your fuel system from future contamination. There is no better insurance than Biobor JF. Use it in all the fuel all the time or treat your fuel system quarterly to ensure a humbug free system.
  3. Protect your fuel by monitoring it regularly. Sample your fuel monthly and look for signs of contamination. For more detail on how to keep you fuel and system clean, contact the Biobor experts at Hammonds Fuel Additives, Inc.
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