IP 385: Determination of the viable aerobic microbial content of fuels and fuel components boiling below 390 °C - Filtration and culture method

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  • Method adopted/last revised: 1999
  • Method reapproved: None
  • REF/ISBN: IP385-2934869
  • Status: Current
  • First printed in STM books: January 1999


This standard describes two procedures for the determination of the viable microbial content of fuels and fuel components boiling below 390 °C. Procedure A is suitable for enumeration of viable microbial units up to 25 000 per litre. Procedure B is suitable for enumeration of viable microbial units above 25 000 per litre.

The procedures employ two selective microbiological growth media which nominally allow separate enumeration of bacteria and fungi. But as the media are not exclusively selective, it is possible that the determination of viable microbial units from the medium which favours bacterial growth will also include some fungi and vice versa. The microbiological procedures for distinguishing bacterial growth and for distinguishing between yeasts and moulds within the fungal content are not within the scope of this standard.

NOTE 1 If the approximate contamination level is unknown it is recommended both procedures are carried out.

NOTE 2 Some of the principles described in procedure B can also be used to determine the viable microbial content of water associated with the fuel. However procedures to determine the microbial content of water are not given in this standard.

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