Diesel Fuel and the Marine Industry

Diesel fuel is often the forgotten commodity with regards to diesel engines. It is typically purchased, stored, and used with little thought going into it until something eventually goes wrong. In the case of the Marine Industry, the fuel can sometimes be left unattended for many months during refit, maintenance periods or seasonal shutdowns; it is only when something goes wrong do many owners or operators understand how critical the fuel is to the reliable operation of the engine or fuel system.

It is a well-known fact that poorly maintained diesel fuel is directly responsible for greater than 80% of fuel system failures which is even higher with the new High Pressure Common Rail fuel injection systems that are now finding their way into the industry.

Marine Diesel engines operate in a highly demanding environment and, in many cases, under extreme conditions when at sea. Having an engine fail at sea, resulting from contaminated fuel, is not something any captain or crew wishes to have happen. As such, the diesel fuel must be maintained in a pristine and as close to an “as refined” condition as possible to ensure Ultimate Reliability.

AXI International understands not only the criticality of the Marine Industry, but also that the diesel fuel is one of the most critical “components” of the engine. Our engineering and sales teams design “solutions”, not “products”, to ensure the most critical component in your engine (the fuel) is available for use as required and in a condition that ensures ultimate reliability.

Common Marine Diesel Issues

Diesel fuels, by their very nature, are unstable organic hydrocarbons which degrade over time depending on a multitude of factors. As a fuel breaks down, gums and insoluble contaminants are formed within the fuel stock. Additionally, modern diesel engines suffer from extreme levels of fuel system wear and component degradation when the water content in the fuel is above 200ppm or 0.02% (approximately 0.8 quarts per 1000 gallons). Most diesel engine OEM’s do, in fact, stipulate via their warranties that water content must not exceed this level. These factors, along with solid particulate, contribute to the majority of fuel system component wear and failures.

Diesel fuel that is not maintained correctly as close to “as refined” as possible can cause the following common problems:

  • Poor starting or failure to start
  • Low power from the engine
  • Poor or rough idle
  • Increased fuel consumption
  • Excessive Smoke
  • Hunting
  • Vibration
  • Increased emissions

Resolution to Marine Diesel Issues

Diesel fuel that is maintained in a condition as close to “as refined” as possible will out perform a diesel fuel that is under or poorly maintained. The solution then is simple: employ corrective measures that ensure fuel stability and cleanliness. The solutions include the use of AXI International fuel conditioning devices, filtration and separation control systems, breathers, and monitoring devices.


AXI International produces a range of pre-designed and engineered solutions and products specifically tailored for Marine Diesel fuel applications. Our in-house engineering team is also able to tailor any of our current solutions to your most difficult applications or, if needed, we can also develop for you a complete bespoke solution to meet the most challenging of requirements.

AXI’s FPS line of intelligent fuel maintenance systems are specifically designed for permanent installations where space and/or indoor use is a factor.

AXI’s Fuel Additives have a chemical affinity to the hydrocarbons in your diesel fuel, helping your engine tap into your fuel’s full potential by burning it more completely.

AXI’s MTC Series of mobile fuel polishing systems remove water, sludge, and sediments that naturally accumulate in diesel fuel tanks.

The Solar Powered Intelligent Fuel Maintenance System is designed to optimize and maintain diesel fuel indefinitely by removing particulate and water in stored fuel.