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To investigate the problem of diesel related corrosion in an objective manner, multiple stakeholders in the diesel industry, through the Clean Diesel Fuel Alliance, funded this research project. The design included the identification of retail fueling sites and the development of an inspection and sampling protocol to ensure uniform and thorough inspections of USTs. Fuel, water bottoms, vapor, bottom sediments, and scrape samples were taken from six sites: one that was not supposed to have symptoms (but did to a much lesser degree) and five that were to have the severe corrosion. Then, samples from the inspections were analyzed for genetic material and chemical characteristics. These data, in combination with information on additives, have allowed Battelle to draw conclusions with respect to three working hypotheses.
Specifically, the hypotheses are:
1) Aerobic and anaerobic microbes are producing byproducts that are establishing a corrosive environment in ULSD systems;
2) Aggressive chemical specie(s) (e.g., acetic acid) present in ULSD systems is(are)
facilitating aggressive corrosion; and
3) Additives in the fuel are contributing to the corrosive environment in ULSD systems.
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