SEAL aviation

Bacterial Growth


What is that black sludge or fuzzy stuff in the fuel tanks and why is so important to remove it?


Bacterial growth is typically black sledge found in the lowest points of the fuel tank or trapped areas of the tank collecting water. The fungus is typically found when the aircraft is not being used often. Some times can be found above the fuel but living in the area where moisture deposits in the tank. Bacterial growth does not really live in the fuel, it lives in the water trapped in the fuel tank. This is one good reason to sump your fuel tank to remove the water so the bacterial growth has no place to grow. But you may ask how is the growth a problem? First the bio mass will clog your filters and effect your sensitive engine equipment. Secondary the bi-product of the bacterial growth is very corrosive and damaging the aluminum skins and sealant of your fuel tanks. Typically if found early enough no major damaged be found. The problem is that the growth and fungus have spores and the entire fuel system must be treated at one time and the fuel disguarded or properly treated prior to re-using.

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