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International Tests
Performance and operational benefits of installing De-Bug fuel treatment units in fuel systems has been proven under laboratory conditions as well as in ship and shore installations worldwide.

Proven Performance

The Biodeterioration Service of the Corporate Research Laboratory of ICI New Zealand has demonstrated the effectiveness of De-Bug Tri-Mag™ units. Two test rigs were built to simulate fuel systems with De-Bug units fitted. One of the De-Bug units was modified with non-magnetic spacers in place of the Tri-Mag™ bug killer pack to allow comparative testing.
Diesel fuel with known contamination levels was then circulated through both rigs and samples were removed from the rigs at regular intervals and tested for fungal counts.
The functioning De-Bug unit caused a rapid and dramatic decline in the bacterial and fungal counts and fuel from the test rig remained effectively clear of fuel degrading fungi for the duration of the trial.

Rapid and
dramatic decline
in bacterial and
fungal counts

ICI New Zealand also published a report entitled "Testing of Diesel Fuel Samples for Microbiological Contamination from a truck with the ‘De-Bug’ unit". The report confirmed the overall effectiveness of the De-Bug unit in an ‘in situ’ situation of treating contaminated fuel on a working fuel system. It was determined that, regardless of the contamination level in the tank, the De-Bug unit successfully cleaned up the fuel system. During the in situ truck test – on average, over 90% of the fungi and yeast cells were either destroyed or killed.

The Dutch Institute for Fishery Investigations (RIVO) undertook a trial of De-Bug units fitted with Tri-Mag ™ stacks over a period of four months in July 1990. The trial confirmed the operational and economic benefits of fitting De-Bug units to maritime vessels.

The rigorous and successful evaluation of the Tri-Mag™ units by ICI New Zealand, Shell Oil New Zealand and RIVO means that prospective users of the units can install them with confidence. In all three cases, microbial contamination was reduced between 90% and 100% and then successfully controlled.

Proven Performance of Multi-Mag™ Units

Shell Oil (New Zealand) Ltd. undertook a comparative trial to ascertain the effectiveness of De-Bug Multi-Mag™ units. Although the trial was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of the units when fitted to Kerbside Pump Units (KPU) used in filling stations, it was also able to demonstrate the effectiveness of Multi-Mag™ units in other applications such as quayside fuelling facilities and re-fuelling barges.

The trial, which was conducted at the premises of Shell Oil New Zealand, confirmed that the fuel had a significantly lower fungal and bacterial count when treated with De-Bug Multi-Mag™ units. This trial demonstrated the effectiveness of the Multi-Mag™ unit which can be incorporated in a number of high flow rate systems and can be used on an intermittent or continuous basis if required.

Financial Savings

De-Bug Tri-Mag™ units have been proven time and again to reduce microbial contamination in a wide range of applications and provide owners and operators with significant financial savings. A number of cases are detailed below.

Improvements in fuel
up to

Two Korean trawlers participated in a comparative trial during the period December 1995 to June 1996; the Dong Won 601 and the Dong Won 608 which was fitted with a De-Bug unit. Apart from the De-Bug unit, both ships were considered to be identical and left Korea on the same day to operate off the coast of Portland, Oregon, USA.

Against the background of similar operating hours and total loading on the engines, the trial demonstrated:

1. Fuel saving of nearly 20%
2. Nozzle life per running engine increased on average by 25%

Norna, a Scottish Fisheries Protection Vessel, experienced microbial spoilage in the diesel fuel header tank, and during bad weather, a build up of a sludge type biomass in the fuel feed line to the purifier halving its capacity from 1 tonne per hour to 0.5 tonnes per hour. In addition, the fuel strainers on the feed lines to the twin 3,000 HP engines had to be cleaned every ten days to prevent fuel starvation.

frequent replacement
of clogged

After fitting of an L4000 De-Bug unit, restrictions were eliminated and the cleaning cycle for the engine strainers was increased to ten weeks; a sevenfold increase in life.

Inconnu, a 60ft fishing vessel used for crab and lobster fishing off the Channel Islands experienced fuel starvation due to filter blockage. The problem became so severe that the filters were being replaced every day. Treating the fuel with Biocide only increased filter life to two days! Upon fitting a De-Bug unit, the contamination problem was eradicated and filter life increased to 40 days. The owner also dispensed with using expensive chemicals. This points out another advantage of the De-Bug versus chemical biocide. Biocide does not destroy bacteria, but it does kill most of them. The carcass can still block filters if the infestation is very high. The De-Bug destroys them and they pass right through the filters!

Union Rotorua, a merchant vessel operated by Union Shipping of New Zealand, was supplied with over 1000 Tonnes of light marine diesel bunker oil which was subsequently found to be contaminated with Hormoconis Resinae. The bacteria caused severe problems with blocked fuel filters; filter life was reduced from 6-8 weeks to 17 hours.

On fitting two De-Bug L4000 units, the fuel filter life was extended such that frequent and expensive filter changes were no longer required. The two units successfully coped with fuel flow rates of 78 tonnes of fuel every 24 hours. While cleaning of the infected bunkers was still required, the fitting of the De-Bug units allowed this to be scheduled for a convenient time, allowing the vessel to continue a normal trading pattern and generating revenue for it owners. No further problems were reported during the last five years of service that were completed in 1998.

Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle Support Ship (DSESS) Kellie Chouest, leased to the US Navy for research, rescue and retrieval, suffered severe algae contamination and the fuel filters required replacement every few hours. Installation of De-Bug units in the fuel supply lines solved the problem and allowed filter replacement to be undertaken at the normal servicing intervals.

M.V. Aka Bhum, a merchant vessel operated by Ship Control Services (PTE) Ltd. of Singapore, had engine exhaust temperatures above the maximum recommended levels.

A L4000 De-Bug unit was fitted which resulted in a reduction of the engine exhaust temperature to within limits. In addition, daily fuel oil consumption (for the same shaft revolutions) was reduced from 17.4 metric tonnes to 15.5 metric tonnes; a reduction of over 10%.

exhaust temperatures

High Speed Catamarans, operating between Singapore and Malaysia frequently experienced main engine and auxiliary engine stoppages due to heavily clogged water separators and secondary fuel filters resulting from a jelly like growth and the filters had to be replaced every three days.


The operator tried using fuel additives but found the cost prohibitive. In addition to the blocked filters, the operator experienced expensive damage to the fuel pumps and injectors.
Since installing a De-Bug unit, fuel oil filter elements did not have to be changed within the first three months of operation, no further damage was reported and fuel economy was improved.

injector and
fuel pump

The Port of Singapore undertook a trial in one of its vessels and fitted a L1000 De-Bug unit on one of the vessels engines. After fitting, the number of filter changes reduced by 40% compared with the other engine. The other engine was subsequently fitted with a De-Bug unit.

The Singapore Naval Maintenance Base also undertook a trial on three vessels involving the monitoring of fuel consumption (usage per hour). Two vessels which were known to have higher than normal fuel consumption recorded savings of 20% and the third a saving of 15%.

Remote Power Stations in the Darwin area of Australia are supplied by coastal barges which in many cases cause the infestation of the diesel fuel used. The Power and Water Authority of the Northern Territory fitted De-Bug units to the fuel systems and recorded increases in fuel filter life from 168 hours to 500 hours. Further trials demonstrated that filter life could be increased well beyond 500 hours.

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