Microbial fuel testing company Conidia BioScience, makers of market leading FUELSTAT® test kits has joined forces with specialists in smartphone test reader technology, Novarum DX®, to develop a new mobile app and smartphone test for aviation and diesel fuel to improve testing for microbial fuel contamination.

Requiring only a droplet of water in fuel to thrive, microbial growth has the potential to cause severe disruption and millions in lost revenue. Aircraft and fuel storage tanks can be severely damaged or rendered out of operation, while the issue also carries significant danger to safety – to flight passengers, for example – alongside environmental risks.

An emergency diesel generator in a hospital that fails to start, a blocked fuel system in an aircraft, or a 50,000 gallon tank that has corroded and leaked out into the ground are all potential consequences of unchecked microbial growth.

The current process to identify microbial contamination requires technicians to carry out and interpret complex tests based on 200-year-old technology, on site, or send samples to laboratories and wait several days for results.

Conidia has now partnered with Novarum to create an end-to-end solution to this significant issue, where test results are read and shared almost instantly using Novarum’s unique smartphone test reader technology.

Conidia’s FUELSTAT®, ‘The Ten Minute Test’ for microbial contamination in aviation and diesel fuel, utilises the latest Immunoassay technology. It is endorsed by leading industry bodies including IATA, JIG, and the Energy Institute. It is also compliant to worldwide standard D8070 and is utilised by major producers and users of fuels such as Shell, BP, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Emirates, and Qantas.

With FUELSTAT® technicians simply take a sample, mix it into the provided testing bottle and apply four drops into the wells of the test, let the app take an image and give the absolute result. The result is then sent instantly to the manager’s or supervisor’s computer from wherever the test is done globally.

The simple three step process, including a centrally logged test interpretation, takes no longer than 15 minutes in total – using only a smartphone.

George Tippet, managing director of Conidia, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing this game-changing device to market. FUELSTAT has the potential to transform the way the industry monitors microbial contamination in fuel. The industry is moving on from a reliance on complicated, hard-to-read tests that depend on the accuracy of the human eye.

“We’re now entering a new landscape where we are harnessing the power of smartphones and enhanced image capture technology to drive advances in safety, security, compliance across key sectors – saving time, money, disruption and potentially, lives.”

Dr Neil Polwart, founder of Novarum DX and BBI Group® head of mobile, said: “Microbial fuel contamination is a common and costly issue for the aviation industry and sectors that rely on diesel fuel to power their operations. The current microbial contaminates testing process relies on the ability of technicians with minimal training to carry out and interpret complex tests correctly on the ground at airfield sites and other industry locations. This is often a time-consuming process with the potential for human error.

“Novarum’s smartphone test reader technology combined with Conidia’s comprehensive, innovative immunoassay, creates a formidable solution to this complex challenge – improving process efficiency, accurate data capture and the potential for industry-wide compliance. We are proud to have developed this breakthrough product with Conidia, which will transform the way fuel contamination tests are performed. This technology improves accuracy while cutting waiting time from seven days to 15 minutes.”

Novarum’s software tools enable users to read and share results of diagnostics tests using nothing more than a smartphone. Its highly-innovative smartphone test reader technology facilitates the reading and sharing of test results across multiple applications within: medical, food, veterinary and aviation industries – at a low total cost of ownership.  Novarum’sSmartphone Test for Aviation and Diesel Fuel enable tests to be carried out remotely and in challenging environments, with the results instantly and accurately available before being shared securely with a specific end-user professional.

Conidia Bioscience is an innovative microbial fuel testing and fuel care company that develops, manufactures and sells fuel tests into aviation, marine and land diesel sectors. Its suite of tests detects microbiological contamination using a fast, easy-to-use platform that provides results in minutes. Its client base includes the world’s largest commercial airlines, globally-renowned ship handlers and surface fleet users across rail, road and agricultural sites.

Find out more about Fuelstat here.


Author: Michael Dalgleish

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