Fuel Quality In the Marine Industry

The estimated consumption of bunker fuels by the shipping industry globally is over 200 million tonnes per annum.

Large scale changes to improve marine fuel quality will require significant changes in refinery, take a long time and entail additional CO2 burden.

Fuel specification may be set by regulatory bodies but availability and production will be driven by economy as individual refineries will make individual decisions based on prudent business logic.

Changes would require large investments in refineries and refinery configuration change can only be gradual and could take 20 to 30 years.

The cost of improved marine heavy fuels will increase substantially.

Bunker fuel is marketed meeting the standards of ISO 8217 which defines the fuel suitable for use in marine boi- lers and diesel engines.

ISO 8217 Deficiencies:

The standard includes limits for various fuel characteristics and clauses that control the composition of the fuels. However, it has some deficiencies. This results in use of fuels which meet the requirement of the standard, and yet are not completely fit for engine application. 

Three such important deficiencies are:

Poor definition and control of fuel stability.
No limits or control on fuel ignition quality. 
No limits or controls for injector cleanliness.

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