Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How does Purafiner work?

A. Purafiner is not a biocide; it does not kill the bug. It is a bio-control unit. It affects the living organism by disrupting its environment and breaking the biomass down into individual plasmolyzed cells of less than 1 micron in size. These pass through the fuel filter and burn up in the engine.


Q. What about the fuel returned to the tank?

A. The treated cells remain dormant and inactive for long periods. The time frame depends on the environmental conditions, but it is long enough for the for the cells to be consumed by the engine. The fuel tank is slowly cleaned up in the process.


Q. How do you know what the effect of the magnetic field really is?

A. Purafiner Distributors NZ Ltd retained the School of Ocean Sciences in the University of Wales at Anglesey, UK to conduct an experiment to prove the effectiveness of Purafiner. The methodology of the test was devised by the School of Ocean Sciences in conjunction with Lloyds Register of Shipping type approval Department of Engineering Services, reference ta/40397/67488/94rel.


Q. What form did the experiment take?

A. The experiment was devised to determine the effect on a magnetically protected filter compared with an unprotected one when circulated with microbiologically contaminated fuel.


Q. What was the result?

A. The result was that the unprotected filter became an ideal environment for microbiological growth and the filter became blocked. The protected one remained unblocked. The filter life was increased by a factor of 10.
The results were so impressive that the university submitted them to the leading journal in the field of biological contamination for publication. The article was accepted and was published in Volume 14(3) 1999 of Biofouling.

Q. Is Purafiner a cost-effective method of control of biological contamination?

A. Yes. The continual use of expensive and toxic biocides and the associated hazards are eliminated.


Q. Will the magnetic field affect electronic or computerised engine components?

A. No. The field is depleted after it moves about 80mm from the unit. In addition, the field is absorbed by adjacent ferrite materials.


Q. Would a more powerful magnet be more effective?

A. No. The result would be the same but the cost greater.


Q. One manufacturer claims three magnets are necessary for effective control?

A.Three magnets are not necessary. One magnet is all that is required to disable bacteria. The claim that the bacteria is killed by the magnet is also incorrect, as the individual bacteria which cling together causing element clogging are separated by the magnetic field, and then burnt up as they go through the exhaust. A small magnetic field with the power of a radio speaker magnet will not kill bacteria.

In the early ’80s Mr Colin Wickham, a Chartered Engineer and inventor of the use of a magnetic field to control bacterial contamination in diesel fuel, designed his first unit. Mr Wickham was a Member of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, MIMarEST.

This first unit was designed to look like a fuel filter for better acceptance by the trucking industry. The use of three magnets was only to fill in the body.

Mr Wickham went on to design a new unit, cheaper and without the problem of sludge collecting in the bowl where it promoted the growth of the bacteria it was intended to control. This new model was the first Fuel Mag unit, one magnet and simple to fit. From this grew a range of units up to large capacity model with 6″ flanged outlets.

The fact that the three magnet system is patented means nothing other than to lock the manufacturer into higher cost. The use of a magnetic field to control this problem has been in the public domain since the earlier 1980’s and thus cannot be patented.

The Purafiner unit uses either one or two magnets for convenience in manufacturing but either number is equally efficient.


Q. Is it true that the Purafiner will save fuel? If it does, how is this achieved?

A. Purafiner makes no claims that a magnetic field has any effect on fuel economy. There are too many unsubstantiated claims made without any scientific proof to support these conclusions.

However, bearing in mind that the Purafiner controls the growth of microbiological contamination in the fuel, then the answer is yes, it will save fuel costs. This is because uncontrolled contamination will result in the following by-products of microbial growth:

  • large biomass causing fuel flow restrictions
  • secretions of organic acids into the fuel and consequential damage to fuel injection equipment
  • conversion of fuel molecules into new cells and metabolites such as surfactants which assist in the emulsification of water in the fuel, carbon dioxide, high-density polymers.

As well as the conversion by cellular enzymes of fuel into these various by-products, the by-products themselves adversely affect combustion conditions.
Clearly, if these problems are eliminated, some form of fuel saving or the prevention of fuel loss and improved combustion will result. Whilst we have made no laboratory tests to verify this particular aspect, there exists a wealth of anecdotal evidence in the marketplace to support it.


Q. Can Purafiner be used to protect fuel storage tanks?

A. Yes. By periodically circulating the fuel through a Purafiner the microbial matter can be maintained in a controlled, dormant condition.


Q. Can Purafiner be used with other fluid systems containing microbial contamination?

A. Yes, most definitely.


Q. Why does Purafiner reduce engine smoke emissions?

A. Quite simply the biological contamination is removed and fuel quality is improved. If the system is contaminated then as it becomes cleaner the combustion process improves, giving cleaner, faster and more complete combustion of the fuel injected into the combustion spaces.


Q. Why should I fit a Purafiner to my engine or system?

A. Well, it depends on the circumstances. If your system is biologically fouled the Purafiner will deal with the contamination, clean the system up and keep it clean.

If your system is not contaminated, then the aim is to keep it that way. You never know when you are likely to receive contaminated fuel.

Think of it in terms of your computer. Why do you install a virus protection programme?

  • to deal with any existing virus contamination
  • to protect your files from any virus that gets downloaded from an external source

The same principle applies to the installation of Purafiner.

  • to deal with existing contamination
  • to prevent any introduced bug from making a comfortable home for itself and degrading your engine system


Q. Do I need added protection if I have a centrifugal purifier?

A. Yes, you do. The microbiological growth has approximately the same specific gravity as the fuel or oil that it is growing in. This means that the centrifuge, which is designed to remove contaminants that are heavier than the fuel or oil, e.G. Dirt and water, will not remove lighter particles. The microbial material will pass through with the fuel or oil.


Q. Where in the system should I install Purafiner?

A. Your system will be equipped with primary or important means of protection against contaminants. What you want Purafiner to accomplish is to break down the microbiological contamination to minute components so that it will pass through the filters into the engine and away in the exhaust. Install the Purafiner in the fuel supply from the tank before it enters any filtration or treatment unit.



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