The microbiological contamination of diesel fuel is a particular problem affecting the mining industry. Sometimes known as ‘diesel bug’, the bacteria need water to thrive and in mines it is all too easy for water to enter a fuel tank either through direct ingress or condensation.
Indeed, condensation can be a major issue for mines in equatorial regions, given the significant variations in temperature experienced as well as problems associated with rainfall during the wet seasons. But in a bid to combat these contamination problems, a number of mining operations in Africa are now using Cyrus Eradicate fuel biocide. The treatment, which is manufactured by Cyrus Energy, works by killing bacteria and it may also be applied to fuel on a preventive basis so pre-empting any potential future problems.
According to one major mine supplier, Cyrus Eradicate has been tried and tested successfully in the tropical African Environment.
“One major mining client has already made the decision to stockpile the product at one of its mines so it can be ready for future problems,” he says.
“Mines often rely on diesel generators for power and most vehicles will use diesel fuel, so an out of control problem with ‘diesel bug’ could cause the shutdown of an entire mining operation, which obviously would have a serious financial impact.”
Independent scientific testing of Cyrus Energy’s diesel biocide has also confirmed its effectiveness in ensuring a ‘total kill’ of contaminant micro-organisms that may be present in fuel tanks.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 33988, was chosen to test the efficacy of Cyrus Eradicate as it is one of the micro-organisms most often implicated in founding the multi-species biofilms associated with severe diesel contamination (Rossmoore, et al., 1988). The normal pattern of fuel tank colonisation begins with a founder species such as P. aeruginosa, an aerobic bacteria, that alters the pH and oxygen level of the micro-environment to such an extent that other species (such as anaerobic sulphate reducing bacteria or pH sensitive fungi) may flourish.
In a specially commissioned independent scientific test on its efficiency carried out by Dr Eve Bird of Napier University Edinburgh, Cyrus Eradicate was found to be effective against the key diesel bacterial contaminant P. aeruginosa and eliminated all micro-organisms at high concentrations within 24 hours. It is worth noting that P. aeruginosa is utilised by the US Department of Defence as the organism of choice for biocide challenge testing. Lesser dosages were also found to be effective over a 48 hour period.
“This research is independent scientific confirmation of the effectiveness of Cyrus Eradicate in ensuring a ‘total kill’ of micro-organisms and provides important validation of the effectiveness of the product,” states John Davis, managing director of Cyrus Energy.
“Microbial fuel contamination is a problem that is gathering momentum, and we encourage regular checking and good tank management as sensible precautions to adopt.
“This is why it is essential to take preventative measures.” The mine supplier added: “Cyrus Eradicate is a successful product and the business relationship we have established with Cyrus Energy has already brought real benefits to the mining sector.”