Marine Fuel Changes & Protecting your Engine

On Thursday 12th March and Friday 13th March 2015, Fuelcare gave a very interesting workshop for engineers during the STP & ACREW Superyacht Professional Development event. The main aim of the workshop was to prepare crew for the marine fuel changes that are coming, so engineers won’t be surprised when they start seeing engine or fuel problems on their yachts. Below you will find the summary of the workshop given by Oliver Rumford-Warr of Fuelcare.

The workshop offered by Fuelcare is divided into 5 main sections; introduction & competition, background on Fuelcare, fuel changes, engine changes and how they will have affect your vessel and its performance, engineering observations for superyacht engineers and engineering protection for issues in the future. Besides, Fuelcare discussed important fuel legislation in Europe.

logo fuelcareFuelcare operate in all fuel-using industries with a focus on Superyachts, Shipping, Aviation, Rail & Offshore. Besides this, Fuelcare has 26 years’ experience in marine bunkering throughout Europe & the Caribbean (Merchant Navy/Yachts). Fuelcare has implemented a range of innovation in response to continually changing fuel specifications e.g. (Injection Systems/ Octamar).

Most fuel changes are a response to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions include SOx (Sulphur Oxides), NOx (Nitrogen Oxides), CO (Carbon Monoxide), CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and PM (Particulate Matter). By altering the chemical components of fuel we can reduce the production of these emissions in combustion. The predominant change to the chemical component of fuel is a reduction in Sulphur content. In addition to fuel changes, engine designs are changing to further reduce emissions.

Further fuel changes are a response to reduce international dependency on fossil fuels. The predominant change to fuels is through the use of bio-derived products. When bio-derived products are blended with marine fuels their mixture is called a Biodiesel (B5/B10 etc). A range of issues are associated with both a reduction in Sulphur & an increase in Biodiesel blends.

Marine fuels are divided into three distinct groups: • H.F.O./I.F.O. – Heavy/Intermediate Fuel Oils sometimes known as ‘Residual fuels’ or under ISO8217 (Residual). • M.G.O. – Marine Gas Oil sometimes known as ‘Distillate fuels’ or under I.S.O. 8217 (Distillate). • Road Diesel – Chemically, a variation of Marine Gas Oil or under E.N.590.

Important fuel changes; – MARPOL Annex VI aims to reduce SOx, NOx & PM by reducing the Sulphur content in marine fuels. – As of January 2015, the limit of Sulphur in any marine fuel should be 0.1% by mass (previously 4.5%). The limits only pertain to E.C.A.’s (Emission Control Areas). Outside of E.C.A.’s the limits are currently 3.5% but will be 0.5% by January 2020. – Vessels that use residual fuels – fuel costs

Important regulations for new vessel engines; – EURO emissions restrictions apply to engines – i.e. EURO IV/ V/VI etc.  –a reduction in NOx production from engines called Tier 1, 11 & III. – As of January 2016, Tier III comes into effect – new vessels within E.C.A.’s must be Tier III compliant. Outside of E.C.A.’s Tier II applies.

Engineering observations: – sulphur inhibits microbial growth in fuel. – Reduced fuel stability leading to further tank sludge and fuel discolouration – Vastly reduced lubricity leading to possibly pump system failure & other issues – Combustion efficiency. – MBC

Biodiesel has a range of significant issues including:

  • Degraded oxidation stability (tank sludge).
  • Affinity for water and M.B.C.
  • Poor cold flow properties.
  • Reduced combustion & ignition efficiency properties.

Engineering protection: – I.S.O. 8217 (Distillate). – be clear on what is needed. – Ensure a Bunker Delivery Note. – SAMPLE!

For more information regarding these topics please contact Fuelcare on , mail or by phone +44(0)1283712263.