e. Water Reaction. This test is run on aviation fuels to determine the presence of alcohol, aromatics, or
surfactants. The presence of alcohol or aromatics increases the water content of the fuel. This water falls out of
the fuel at low temperatures and clogs fuel filters and lines. The surfactants change the flow characteristics of the
fuel and degrade the performance of the fuel and engine.
f. Millipore. This test is performed on fuel to determine the amount of particulate (solid) contamination
in the fuel sample. Too much solid contamination can clog engine filters, fuel lines, carburetor, and injectors.
Recirculating the product trough a filter/separator usually solves this problem.
g. Fuel System Icing Inhibitor. This test is run on jet turbine fuels. FSII is an additive to jet turbine
fuels that prevents dissolved water from freezing at altitudes above 8,500 feet. Dissolved water is water contained
between the molecules of fuel and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Free water in fuel makes the fuel appear
cloudy or form a puddle at the bottom of the fuel. FSII is pulled easily out of the fuel by free water. When the
fuel passes through a filter/separator, the free water and the FSII it contains are separated from the fuel. This
leaves the fuel with low levels of FSII decreasing its effectiveness. The lack of FSII in fuel can be an indicator of
poor fuel handling techniques.
h. Ash. This test is run on fuel oils and lubricants to determine the amount of ash forming materials
present in the product. Ash-forming contaminates, such as rust, sand, or metallic salts, can abrade metal surfaces,
clog injection nozzles, and form deposits. If ash content is too high, the product should not be used. If the ash
content is too low, it could indicate loss of additives.
i. Carbon Residue. This test is performed on distillate fuels (diesel, JP8), residual fuels (heating oil,
burner oil), and lubricating oils. The amount of carbon residue is an indicator of the crude oil base used to
manufacture the product. Paraffin-based products have low carbon residue while asphalt-based products have
high carbon residue. Distillate fuels that have a high carbon residue can leave a deposit in an engine causing hot
spot ignition in the combustion chamber and fuel injector blockage. Residual fuels with high carbon residue may
cause problems in heat generating equipment by clogging burners and creating severe pollution. Lubricating oils
that have high carbon residue are poor lubricants because they leave deposits that cause excessive wear.
NOTE: MIL-HDBK-200, Table X provides characteristics of the contaminates.
a. Contamination. A contaminated product is one that contains some material not normally present,
such as dirt, rust, water, or another petroleum product. Contaminates may modify the characteristics of the
product or interfere with the machines in which the product is used. Using contaminated products could result in
the loss of time, equipment, or life. A product may be contaminated by accident, inability to follow prescribed
petroleum handling procedures, gross carelessness, or sabotage. In most cases, a contaminated product can be
detected by unusual