Aderco notes that there are still five key threats associated with new VLSFO; cat fines, sludge, compatibility issues, asphaltene and fuel stability remain key issues for the health and maintenance of diesel engines since the IMO sulphur cap became effective.
In late July, Aderco released a new report which follows a series of tests conducted in Belgium and Singapore on low sulphur fuels over recent months. The tests show the marked improvements that can be achieved from a fuel treatment in reducing commingling and improving fuel stability, reducing sludge and removing water from the new fuels.
“The new low sulphur fuel hasn’t stopped the issues of fuel instability and contamination which are of primary concern for ship owners, ship managers and operators. ”Olivier Baiwir, CEO of Aderco, commented
VLSFO is still prone to the five issues that can cause engine breakdowns and poor performance; and our tests prove that the damaging issues of cat fines, sludge, corrosion, contamination and fuel stability can be reduced and eliminated with a fuel treatment.” he added.
The report explains that that by reducing the sulphur content in the compliant fuels and, more especially, Ultra Low Sulphur Marine Gas Oil, one can see a marked increase in microbial growth. ULSMGO is well known for this issue.
The use of biodiesel in the blending process can generate a high water content which is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. This poses a real risk to the engine’s pipework and filters which could result in catastrophic failure. However, by using fuel treatment, this eradicates any biological damage.
Aderco advises operators to prefer using a reliable fuel treatment as it ‘seems a small price to pay for peace of mind and operational efficiency.
In a previous article, Mr. Francisco Malta, Director at VM Industrials – Aderco Australia stated that VLSFOs could increase black carbon emissions because of paraffinic hydrocarbons; highlighting that shipping industry needs to focus on fuel stability and address all issues.
Lastly, Aderco notes that reliable and effective fuel treatments will protect engines from corrosion and microbial damage, important issues for consideration which have not disappeared with the introduction of the new blended fuels in 2020.