Bio Fuel Biofuel and Water

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
I have read where additives which are intended to "treat" water in diesel need to be carefully selected and applied. There can be problems with water being carried from the tank out to the system.

Grotamar biocide is one (the only?) additive manufacturer listed on BeVo as acceptable for MB diesels.

The Grotamar site included this comment.

Grotamar said:
What are optimal conditions for the proliferation of microbes?


Microbes need water. Water is the source of life! They also need food and warmth to feel comfortable. As we also know now microbes can adapt very good to new living conditions. They have learnt how to extract the nutrition they need out of the diesel fuel. With the addition o f bio diesel in the fuel it is even easier for microbes to exploit the fuel as food since bio fuel is very good biodegradable. The temperature in the tank is given and often cannot be influenced, i.e. when a storage tank is outside.

But where is the water coming from? Diesel fuel contains up to 7 Vol% bio-diesel according to the latest DIN EN 590 norm, According to the specification up to 200 mg/kg water is allowed. 200mg/kg is not a lot, but considering the size of a bacteria or yeast of only some µm, the little amount of water in the tank has the size of a huge lake. The lake already provides very good living conditions. Diesel fuel itself can bind up to 60 mg/kg water which means it is not available for microbes. But the remaining 140 mg/kg water is available for microbes. Taking condensation water into account, the lake becomes slowly an ocean. In the past when mineral oil diesel did not contain bio component, the water sank to the bottom, because water is heavier than diesel fuel. So the water could be drained from the lowest point of tank.

Keeping the tank dry is a good measurement to remove the source for microbes. But nowadays bio diesel has to be mixed into the fuel to fulfill regulations. Bio diesel can have up to 500 mg/kg water, but it can bind up to 5000 mg/kg water. This is good because large amounts of water are bonded and then not available for microbes. No microbial contamination cases have been reported in 100 % bio diesel. The problem starts when only a certain percentage of bio diesel is mixed into the mineral oil fuel because the small bio diesel amount cannot dissolve all the excess water. In addition the bio diesel acts like an emulsifier and distributes fine water drops in the fuel. Draining the clear water from the tank bottom has become very difficult.

http://www.grotamar.com/grotamar-en/Microbial-contamination.php
If bio diesel can bind the water, then doesn't that mean that the water in the tank is carried out to the injectors and general fuel system by the bio diesel?

Will occasional use of bio diesel help to safely remove small amounts of water contamination from your diesel fuel tank?

vic

Added:
This biocide thread got me thinking about water in fuel.

Biocides and your fuel tank....
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=56381
 
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rollerbearing

Well-known member
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

Does it need to be 100% bio in order to work? As stated it sounds like a ratio of 32:1 mineral to bio would be able to carry away that water. That's only 3% biodiesel. So why doesn't B10 work even better?

Check my math:

(5000 mg/kg-500 mg/kg)/(200 mg/kg-60 mg/kg)= 32

So how much do you need to overcome the emusilfication & other effects and receive the benefits?
 

FFred

New member
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

emusilfication only means the fuel can carry the water , where it should be stopped by the fuel filter.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

emusilfication only means the fuel can carry the water , where it should be stopped by the fuel filter.
That's the theory. There is a bunch of discussion about whether that is a good plan or not. I guess my layman view is that IF bio diesel (which many people can't avoid using) emulsifies water in the fuel then that mode of water removal can't be avoided.


From Power Service hawking their product benefits. I provide the quote for the emulsification general information/overview that it contains.

Power Service said:
Diesel Fuel Supplement (DFS) has an antigen which prevents the fuel from gelling. It also has a detergent, cetane boost, lubricity, anti-icing, and corrosion package.

Warm fuel will carry more water than cold fuel. When it gets cold some water can fall out of the fuel, or the water separator can squeeze out water which can freeze on the filter face and cause the fuel to stop flowing through the filter even though the fuel is still liquid. This is call Fuel Filter Icing and is often mistaken for fuel gelling. Our Diesel Fuel Supplement contains a deicer that is intended to keep the water in the fuel from falling out. The deicer can also help to solubilize small amounts of water in the fuel system. If too much water is in the fuel tank it can overpower the deicer in the Diesel Fuel Supplement.

Cetane will cause the fuel to ignite a split second sooner than fuel with low cetane. This will cause the engine to start faster and help the fuel to burn more completely and aid in fuel economy, reduce emissions and noise.

The detergent in DFS will help to keep the injectors clean which is the key to better fuel economy. The EMA (Engine Manufacturers Association) recommends the use of a detergent. Their research shows that low sulfur fuels have a tendency to form carbon deposits on fuel injectors. The DFS will prevent these deposits from forming. These deposits interfere with the fuel injector spray pattern, cause the engine to smoke, emit more emissions and reduce fuel economy.

Lubricity will help the fuel pump to last longer. The vast majority of fuel pumps in diesel engines are lubricated by the fuel and in the USA one-third of the fuels do not meet the minimum lubricity requirements. The DFS has enough lubricity to raise these fuels up to the minimum standard recommended by the fuel pump manufacturers. The fuel pump manufacturers BOSCH, Delphi, Denso, Siemens and Stanadyne say that lubricity is the most valuable and crucial property of diesel fuel.

Our Diesel Kleen is a summer additive and it is intended to give you the very best injector cleaner, cetane, lubricity, fuel stability package and corrosion protection. It will not do much for water and it is not intended to. The injector cleaner is strong enough to clean up a dirty injectors to the spray pattern of a new injector. The Cetane Boost will help your engine start quicker, reduce emissions (even NOx) and improve engine performance. The lubricity package will bring the lubricity of the fuel up to the standard recommended by the fuel pump manufacturers. It meets the N14 Standard for corrosion and it will stabilize the fuel. The stability package helps the fuel to resist thermal breakdown which can cause the fuel to darken and form particulate materials which create gum residues in the fuel system.

Diesel Kleen is the only additive on the market that has effectively demonstrated the ability to reduce NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) which are the fine particles & ground level ozone often called Urban Smog. It will also reduce the other diesel emissions like black smoke, PM, CO, and HC. It also has the strongest detergent package on the market.

When it comes to water dispersal the following will apply.

A Demulsifier, an emulsifier and a water solubilizer are all water dispersants. All diesel fuel has water in it. The water that is in diesel fuel will not hurt or harm the motor, pumps or injectors. Low Sulfur diesel fuel usually has around 50 to 65ppm (parts per million) water in the fuel. When the water content of the fuel gets around 100ppm or higher, the more likely fuel filter icing will occur.

Demulsifiers will cause excess water to fall out of the fuel. This water will fall to the bottom of the fuel tank or fuel system and can cause corrosion, rust, reduced lubricity and in the winter months it can freeze in the fuel lines and prevent fuel flow. There are about a dozen demulsifiers or de-hazers on the market. None of them will work on all fuels. You have to test the fuel your are using against the various demulsifiers to see which one will work with that fuel. They are fuel specific and when an additive company says they use demulsifiers in their additives it is for advertisement purposes only. If you talk to any Chemist that knows anything about demulsifiers they will tell you the same thing.
An emulsifier will pull water up into the fuel as small droplets and often will cause the fuel to be cloudy. In the winter months when the temperature drops below freezing, these water droplets can freeze on the filter face of the water separator causing the flow of fuel to stop, even though the fuel is still liquid. It does not take much water to cause Fuel Filter Icing problems. Both Ford and Chevy have advised against the use of emulsifiers because of possible engine damage caused by water droplets in the fuel. These water droplets also reduce the lubricity of the fuel and hurt fuel pumps and can pit, scare and destroy injector tips, according to Ford and Chevy.

Diesel Kleen and Diesel Fuel Supplement do not contain demulsifiers, emulsifiers or alcohols.

Our Diesel 911 is a solubilizer. It will take free water and combine it with the fuel so when you look at the fuel it is clear. Diesel 911 will combine with the fuel first and it will also keep the water in the fuel from falling out. It then will act upon the free water in the system. If the fuel is dry and is not saturated with water, it will pick up more free water than when the fuel is wet. A fuel solubilizer will not suspend water in the fuel as water droplets and it is not an emulsifier.

There is a lot of misinformation about additives and water dispersants. When you use an additive like our Diesel Fuel Supplement or Diesel Kleen these are mixtures of additives in a package. These various chemicals have to be balanced so they will not separate when you mix them together. It doesn't matter if you use our additives or one of our competitors, a good water dispersant takes a lot of room in the additive package. If you add a strong detergent, strong cetane, excellent lubricity, corrosion, top of the line antigel, and stability to the additive package there is not much room left for a water dispersant. A good multiple benefit package will always have a weak water dispersant package. It is a matter of chemistry. The only way to get a strong water dispersant is to get an additive whose top attribute is to control water like our Diesel 911. It takes a lot of water dispersant to take care of free water so it will take up a lot of room in a container.

If you think you have a water or water related problem then you need to use our Diesel 911 to take care of the water. Diesel 911 is completely compatible with Diesel Kleen and Diesel Fuel Supplement and they can be used together in the fuel. If you live in areas where the temperatures can be severe in the winter months then you need to use our Diesel Fuel Supplement. Use the Diesel Kleen in the non-winter months. Also, just before winter sets in I would use the Diesel 911 to help take out the water/condensation in your fuel system. You might also use it once a month in the equipment during the winter just to be sure condensation doesn't build up in the system. One-third of all fuel flow problems in winter is caused by water. Diesel 911 is the perfect product to take care of this problem. It will solubilize the water back into the fuel so the water will act as a component of the fuel. The water will be in solution and not in droplet form in your fuel. All fuel contains water. When used as directed it will prevent fuel filter icing problems, it will not hurt or harm your pump or injectors and it is the only practical way to rid the system of water in a vehicle . Again, use the Diesel 911 when you think you have a water problem .

Diesel 911 does not contain any methyl or ethyl alcohols. It is a proprietary mixture containing Hydroxyl Compounds. These de-icers are used in many diesel fuel additives that are currently on the market.

It is also interesting to note that Power Service Products, Inc. is one of the few diesel fuel manufacturers that have their own chemical storage tanks, own lab and one of the most modern and automated production lines in the industry. We buy our chemicals by the truck load, tanker load and sometimes by a million gallons at a time. We control our costs in this way which keeps us cost competitive and we also do not experience shortages which would stop production in the critical winter months. Our chemist in our own lab come up with our formulations and test them for performance and quality. We mix our own chemicals at our tank farm and then send them to our warehouse for bottling, box the product and store it for shipping. Most of our competitors use what we call "cold blenders". That is they come up with a formulation and then send it off to a blending facility who purchase the chemicals and mix them to the required specifications, bottle and box and label the product and then ship it back to the owner who warehouse it until it is sold. This causes their prices to be usually higher than ours. Often since they have higher costs due to the cold blend process they put out an inferior product and say it is equal to or better than ours.
There is some discussion in the Cummins Forum where I found the quote.
http://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/a...wer-service-article-i-found-interesting.html#

I'm not stating whether water emulsion in diesel fuel is good or bad. I'm saying that when using bio diesel fuel blends the process may be going on at some level whether an owner does it intentionally or unintentionally. No aftermarket additives need to be applied.

Added:
There must be all kinds of chemistry going on with our fuel systems that we're not even aware of.
vic
 
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SailingOn

New member
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

Google 'antigen' then try to find logic in the first sentence of Power Service's statement.
Given that it starts with nonsense, it is hard to put much faith in the rest of it.
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

Ohhh... fun... if i'm reading the specs correctly, there's about 0.4 grams of water per liter of air circa 70F at 100% relative humidity.
So each 2.7 liter cycle of the engine ingests (2.7*0.4=) 1.08 gram (cc) of water... just from the air. That's 1080 milligrams.
The air/fuel ratio is about 14, so each liter of air (about a gram) is only given 0.07 grams of fuel.
At 200 milligrams per kg, the biodiesel will only carrying (0.07 * 0.2 / 1000 =) 0.0000143 grams (or 0.0143 milligrams) of water into the engine per two revolutions (it's a 4-stroke).
(assuming 100% biodiesel)

So you're eating (er, drinking?) far more water from the air stream than you are from "wet" biodiesel.

--dick (no backs-of-envelopes were used for the above calculations, so there probably are errors)
p.s what kills diesels is hydrolock: the piston trying to *compress* a load of water greater than the minimum volume the cylinder can achieve. The engine has 2.7L/5cylinders=0.5 (roughly) liters per cylinder.
Assuming a compression ratio of 20 (it's really 18 or so), divide by 20 and you get 0.025 liters (25 milliliters) compressed volume. That's about one fluid ounce. 25 milliliters of water is 25 grams.
So the air's 1 gram alone (without boost) is 1/25th of that... 4% of the volume. 15 psi boost doubles that.

p.p.s. just when you thought you were safe: one problem with water in the fuel is that the "unburned" water does not necessarily exit the cylinder with each cycle... so it can gradually accumulate until it does reach the magic 25 milliliter volume. Then *wham*.
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

SailingOn.
First. Was your focus simply to discredit Power Service or my sources?


Google 'antigen' then try to find logic in the first sentence of Power Service's statement.
Given that it starts with nonsense, it is hard to put much faith in the rest of it.
One word doesn't negate an entire article.

...


From Power Service hawking their product benefits. I provide the quote for the emulsification general information/overview that it contains.

...
What about Grotamar?

I also used the sainted by BeVo Grotamar as a reference source.

It seems to be fact that biodiesel can hold more water than dino diesel.

Need more sources?

"The water content of the biodiesel showed increasing trend during storage as reported by [2, 10-11]. Biodiesel is hygroscopic it can absorb atmospheric moisture or pick up water in storage.
Hence, water content of biodiesel is increased due to the methyl ester can quickly absorb moisture when storage container possibly opened or contacted with air. "
https://www.matec-conferences.org/articles/matecconf/pdf/2017/15/matecconf_sicest2017_02012.pdf


"Biodiesel, due to the nature of its chemical structure, has the characteristics of absorbing more moisture than petroleum diesel. "

http://biodieseleducation.org/LITER... in biodiesel and its petro-diesel blends.pdf


"Biodiesel has a higher affinity toward moisture content than petroleum diesel, and the water retaining capacity of biodiesel is higher than diesel."
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/je300279c?src=recsys&journalCode=jceaax

*******************

There have been posts here that state emulsifying water for removal from diesel fuel is not a good method. (I have no idea whether that is true or not.) The point of this thread is that when we use a fuel with a biodiesel blend it is likely that we are carrying water out of the fuel tank and to our fuel injection system.


...

If bio diesel can bind the water, then doesn't that mean that the water in the tank is carried out to the injectors and general fuel system by the bio diesel?

Will occasional use of bio diesel help to safely remove small amounts of water contamination from your diesel fuel tank?

vic
Personally I wouldn't be at all surprised if biodiesel blended fuel is moving water out of the fuel tank with no serious consequences. If that was a problem I'm sure that we'd be hearing about it.


If you truly believe that biodiesel doesn't hold more water than dino diesel then please provide sources.

:2cents: vic
 
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autostaretx

Erratic Member
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

Thanks... (i didn't chase down a 2nd verification source for my "1g/liter")
So my 0.4 g is 400 mg, compared to 17.3 ... so my results should be multiplied by 0.04325 ... that's 46.71 milligrams per 2.7L cycle instead of 1080.
Likewise the "4% of volume" becomes 0.173% of volume .. which sounds much more plausible.

The air's 46.7 mg/cycle is still far larger than the fuel's 0.0143 mg/cycle

(but. as Vic added... just 'cuz it starts with only 200mg/kg, it can end up far wetter as it ages in your tank... )

--dick
 
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FFred

New member
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

"There have been posts here that state emulsifying water for removal from diesel fuel is not a good method. (I have no idea whether that is true or not.)"

On boats that have tanks that can be hundreds of gallons a DE EMULSIFIER is used.

This knocks the water out and it drops to the bottom of the fuel tank, where it can be drained.

The finest system uses a sump that catches the water so it can be hand or mechanically pumped out.

Sucking the fuel thru a filter is preferred rather than pumping it thru , as the pump action will emulsify the mixture , making the filters job harder.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

From what I have read both dino diesel and biodiesel can bind with water. It would follow that both are then carrying some water out of the tank through the filter. The amounts must be under what the fuel filter can separate or we would all be getting occasional WIF dash warnings.

My thoughts are that if the added biodiesel fuel isn't "wet" already, it may be picking up slightly more of the water in very small amounts and carrying it out of the tank. That said, I have no idea how much the biodiesel can bind with free water that is already in the tank. The free water may just collect and remain.

...

Sucking the fuel thru a filter is preferred rather than pumping it thru , as the pump action will emulsify the mixture , making the filters job harder.
That should mean that the NAS aka NAFTA 2001 - 2003 OM612 (mechanical low pressure fuel pump) systems have a better chance at separating out the water as compared to all of the newer models with in tank electric pumps.

Basically when I noticed that biodiesel is reported to have the ability to bind more water it got me to thinking about any possible implications as to water in our systems.

I'm not suggesting that this is a problem we need to worry about. This thread is for discussion and awareness similar to the intention of the WIF sticky or the recent Ptheland Diesel Runaway thread. eg. - I hadn't thought about the fuel pump location affecting fuel emulsification as relates to water separation in fuel filter systems.

:cheers: vic
 

ptheland

2013 144" low top Passgr
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

So you're eating (er, drinking?) far more water from the air stream than you are from "wet" biodiesel.
I'm trying to learn here by posting and demonstrating my ignorance. So feel free to correct me as necessary.

My understanding is that the problems with water in fuel are not so much related to the affects on combustion as they are on the fuel system itself. Particularly the latter end of the fuel system - the injectors and high pressure pump.

These have very tight tolerances and depend on the fuel itself for lubrication. Water, or a water and fuel emulsification, make lousy lubricants. So get too much water (whatever that "too much" is according to the engineers), and you have fuel system problems and failures.

Granted, sufficient amounts of water in the combustion chamber can cause problems, too.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

...

My understanding is that the problems with water in fuel are not so much related to the affects on combustion as they are on the fuel system itself. Particularly the latter end of the fuel system - the injectors and high pressure pump.

These have very tight tolerances and depend on the fuel itself for lubrication. Water, or a water and fuel emulsification, make lousy lubricants. So get too much water (whatever that "too much" is according to the engineers), and you have fuel system problems and failures.
That's my understanding too. In extreme cases water in fuel can even crack injector bodies and nozzles.

That's my discussion here. Water doesn't seem to automatically build up in our tanks. Are we all always getting perfectly dry top quality fuel? That seems pretty doubtful. ALL diesel fuel can carry a bit of water. Some types (biodiesel/blends) can carry more. Temperature affects the water capability. I would expect that the heat/cool cycles that most tanks see would tend to precipitate out the water at one time or other.

The fuel in our Sprinters is heated and circulated back to the tank. The heated fuel will hold more water than cold fuel. Assuming that the fuel we pump into our tank is not very "wet", does that heat and circulation process help to keep the free water from accumulating in our tanks by taking the moisture away in very small doses?

The OEM filter membrane is designed to trap free water. As I mentioned earlier, it must not be trapping the "in range" amount of water in the fuel or else we would all be regularly draining our WIF filter system. Originally "dry" at lower temperature biodiesel when heated may be more efficient at water control than is heated dino diesel.

Granted, sufficient amounts of water in the combustion chamber can cause problems, too.
It would seem to me that the amount of water would need to be pretty high for that to become a real concern. Our WIF monitor should be warning us before that is a problem. I have no data.

vic
 
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Seber

Member
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

p.s what kills diesels is hydrolock: the piston trying to *compress* a load of water greater than the minimum volume the cylinder can achieve. The engine has 2.7L/5cylinders=0.5 (roughly) liters per cylinder.
Assuming a compression ratio of 20 (it's really 18 or so), divide by 20 and you get 0.025 liters (25 milliliters) compressed volume. That's about one fluid ounce. 25 milliliters of water is 25 grams.
So the air's 1 gram alone (without boost) is 1/25th of that... 4% of the volume. 15 psi boost doubles that.

p.p.s. just when you thought you were safe: one problem with water in the fuel is that the "unburned" water does not necessarily exit the cylinder with each cycle... so it can gradually accumulate until it does reach the magic 25 milliliter volume. Then *wham*.
I believe the bigger problem with water that reaches the combustion chamber is the explosion of droplets into steam. This commonly destroys injector tips leaving shrapnel in the cylinder. If it explodes near the wall or piston top it can cause large pits that will eventually become disastrous.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

I'm a little surprised that the anti-additives crowd hasn't chimed in on this thread.

I'm convinced that we are burning off small quantities of water at one time or other during our normal operation.

Assuming that our diesel fuel heating cycles do help to remove small amounts of water during normal operation, that means that no additives would be needed to address anything but unusual amounts of water contamination.

:cheers: vic
 

FFred

New member
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

"Assuming that our diesel fuel heating cycles do help to remove small amounts of water during normal operation, that means that no additives would be needed to address anything but unusual amounts of water contamination."

For decades the Air Police have mandated the fuel system be sealed.

Air to make up for fuel burn is OK but vapors departing is not.

How would the water vapor leave ?

The best way to get rid of water is a filter that will stop water.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

"Assuming that our diesel fuel heating cycles do help to remove small amounts of water during normal operation, that means that no additives would be needed to address anything but unusual amounts of water contamination."

For decades the Air Police have mandated the fuel system be sealed.

Air to make up for fuel burn is OK but vapors departing is not.

How would the water vapor leave ?

The best way to get rid of water is a filter that will stop water.
...

That's my discussion here. Water doesn't seem to automatically build up in our tanks. Are we all always getting perfectly dry top quality fuel? That seems pretty doubtful. ALL diesel fuel can carry a bit of water. Some types (biodiesel/blends) can carry more. Temperature affects the water capability. I would expect that the heat/cool cycles that most tanks see would tend to precipitate out the water at one time or other.

The fuel in our Sprinters is heated and circulated back to the tank. The heated fuel will hold more water than cold fuel. Assuming that the fuel we pump into our tank is not very "wet", does that heat and circulation process help to keep the free water from accumulating in our tanks by taking the moisture away in very small doses?

The OEM filter membrane is designed to trap free water. As I mentioned earlier, it must not be trapping the "in range" amount of water in the fuel or else we would all be regularly draining our WIF filter system. Originally "dry" at lower temperature biodiesel when heated may be more efficient at water control than is heated dino diesel.

...
vic
Assuming that not all fuel that we purchase is completely dry and adding the fact that moisture laden air is often introduced as the tank level goes down, doesn't it make sense that something must keeping water from building up in our fuel tanks? Otherwise small amounts of water would continue to build up over the lifetime of the vehicle service.

vic
 

FFred

New member
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

"small amounts of water would continue to build up over the lifetime of the vehicle service."

On diesel boats the do not allow the fuel pickup to go to the tank bottom.

What settles below the pickup is drained at times.

Does the Sprinter fuel tank have a bottom drain plug?
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Re: Bio Fuel and Water

Thanks for the interest in this thread.

...
On diesel boats they do not allow the fuel pickup to go to the tank bottom.

What settles below the pickup is drained at times.

Does the Sprinter fuel tank have a bottom drain plug?
There is no OEM drain capability in the Sprinters.

There is a molded "well" in the poly fuel tank. I don't believe that the fuel pickup is directly on the bottom, but it is close.

vic
 

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