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Frequently Asked Questions
does it work?

De-Bug Fuel Treatment Units are static magnetic inline devices that create an optimum magnetic flux field density directly responsible for destruction of the cell membrane. Exposing the microbes to a strong, changing magnetic field will ensure maximum destruction of the cells. The debris stays randomly suspended in the fuel and due to their sub-micron size easily pass through engine components and burned with the fuel.

Is it a Filter?
No. The De-Bug Fuel Treatment Unit is not a filter nor does it supply any chemicals to destroy micro-organisms.

How cost effective is it?

De-Bug is a cost effective, one time, permanent installation, with no moving parts, no electrical hook-up, and maintenance that may require only an occasional cleaning. And unlike chemical biocides, micro-organisms which have been destroyed by the De-Bug unit do not collect at the bottom of fuel tanks. Instead, the debris stays randomly suspended in the fuel and due to their sub-micron size easily pass through engine components. They are then burned with the fuel and leave no build-up in tanks. Remember, if you have to clean the fuel tanks once, you will most likely pay more than installing a De-Bug. Think about that the next time you consider using an expensive biocide!

What about pressure drop?

Through careful design, De-Bug units show no pressure drop across the recommended unit for a specified flow rate.

Will the fitting of a De-Bug unit save on fuel costs?

Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that the effective control of microbial contamination through a De-Bug unit will save on fuel costs.

Will the fitting of a De-Bug unit reduce engine smoke emissions?

Yes. If microbial contamination is removed from the fuel then combustion improves reducing engine smoke emissions.

What is the maximum temperature in which a De-Bug unit will operate?
With regard to the components which make up all De-Bug units.

A.      Rubber 'O' Ring - maximum 107˚C.
B.      Internal washers - maximum 90
˚C. (Polyethylene - YUCLAIR JL210)
C.      Magnet spac
ers - maximum 170˚C. (Acetal Copolymer LUCEL N109-02)
D.   Ceramic
magnets - recommended maximum temperature is around 230˚C.

In general we do not recommend our units in any situation where heated fluid enters the unit beyond the maximum temperature tolerance level of the Magnet Spacers which are fully exposed to any high temperature fuel.  In our view the Rubber 'O' Ring between the top and bowl housing, and the PVC internal washers have very limited exposure to heat and are therefore adequate for the purpose.

However some customers may wish to receive our Model L5000 units modified to include components able to withstand higher operating temperatures.  In these circumstances the following components would be used.

Models L5000 modified for Heavy Fuel requirement on request:
(A price variation will apply)

A.      Viton 'O' Ring - +200
˚C.(BS453 V80)
B.      Internal washers - maximum 121
˚C. (Nylon 66)
Durethan® BKV 30 - Maximum 200˚C (30% Glass fiber reinforced)
C.      Magnet spacers - maximum 170˚C. (Acetal Copolymer LUCEL N109-02)
D.   Ceramic magnets - recommended maximum temperature is around 230˚C.

Other systems use a single magnet and claim similar success. What makes your product using a three magnet stack different?

Put simply, the patented Tri-Mag stack through its design of strategically spaced magnets and spacers allows for the required turbulence and maximum exposure to a changing magnetic field necessary to kill these organisms. When the fuel and microbes flow between the magnets and through the centre of the middle magnet in the Tri-Mag™ pack, the flow path causes the microbial cells to experience the maximum levels of magnetic flux density from several different angles, and 24 changes in polarity of the magnetic field. This overwhelming attack from all directions, combined with the oscillating field strength can eliminate microbial contamination when used in a fuel system where fuel is re-circulated through the De-Bug unit either on a periodic or continuous basis.

What are these Micro-organisms?

Once bacteria, moulds and yeasts in fuel have grown to be visible their colonies consist of millions of individual cells. Very simply stated, all micro-organisms are single-celled with a membrane surrounding them. The unit membrane physically contains the cell and the proteins needed for survival while maintaining separation between the internal cell and the external environment. Ions, which are electrically charged, travel across this membrane and their movement is essential for the organism's life.

What is Microbial Contamination?
Microbial contamination of petroleum products is a serious problem
especially in the marine industry. Many bacteria, moulds and yeasts are able to degrade hydrocarbons and yet more are able to feed on the intermediate by-products of the degradation. Given the right conditions, a single cell weighing one millionth of a gram can grow to a biomass of slimy algae weighing 10 kilograms (22 pounds) within 24 hours.

What are the effects of Microbial Contamination?

The physical effects of microbiological contamination are the formation of biological sludge, biofilms (slimes) and surface or interfacial scums. These mainly occur in the fuel tank and also manifest themselves as material which block filters.

A number of microbial and chemical processes produce corrosive by-products including strong organic acids and sulphides. These can degrade protective coatings such as paints, rubber, some plastics and metal oxide films as well as destroy or inactivate chemical corrosion inhibitors and cause hydrogen embrittlement of metals. Black deposits on copper or copper containing alloys in pipe work and bearings as well as pitting are evidence of microbial induced corrosion.

Engines rely on high quality fuel that has been properly filtered and separated (from water), with no flow restrictions, to achieve proper atomisation, combustion, engine performance and fuel efficiency. Fuel that is infected with bacteria is not reliable and there are many and varied consequences of using contaminated fuel.

These include:

1. encouraging growth of further contamination 
2. fuel filter clogging and blockage
3. coalesce malfunctions
4. engine wear due to variations in fuel flow
5. corrosion of the fuel system
6. corrosion of engine fuel injectors
7. damage to in-line instruments

Engine fuel injection equipment and fuel pumps are most susceptible to the effects of microbial contamination resulting in corrosive damage.

Ultimately, performance suffers and fuel consumption and maintenance costs increase, but perhaps the most critical concern is the real potential for blockages in the fuel system which cause engine failure while underway - with potentially devastating consequences.

What are the effects of using Biocides?

Biocides are frequently used to treat severe contamination, however many of them are hazardous chemicals and require careful handling. Although some are marketed as being "environmentally friendly", many are harmful to the environment and waste disposal contractors may need to be called in if waste containing dead microbes and biocide are to be removed

Adding biocides to the fuel system can actually cause more problems. The fallout of dead cells collecting on the bottom of the tank forms a sludge material that can still find its way into the fuel system, clogging fuel lines and filters, potentially leading to performance problems and possibly engine damage. This can be especially true in rough weather when the contents of the tank are effectively shaken into suspension.

Furthermore, over time biocides lose their effectiveness as microbes build up immunity to the chemicals. Occasional dosing can actually accelerate this action and some owners have reported bio-mass growth in systems despite regular treatments with biocides.

Thus biocides can actually contribute to the problems of microbial contamination; not only by causing a large amount of sludge to build up but by also giving a crew a false sense of security.

What is the Kill Rate?

The patented design of multiple ceramic permanent magnets located within the unit, when properly sized and strategically placed, have been shown to have a 97.5% efficiency in destroying the damaging micro-organisms within a single pass.

Are there microbial bugs in lubrication oil?

Oil has bacteria therefore the answer is Yes. This extends to palm oil, coconut oil, fish oil, Emu oil, etc.  If you encounter evidence of contamination, you can be reasonably sure that it is contamination.

Where in the fuel line should I install my De-Bug unit?

The De-Bug Fuel Treatment Unit should be mounted as close as possible to the main fuel supply source (fuel tank) and in the fuel line after any strainer or water separator but before the primary filter. Full installation instructions are included with each unit.

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