Olivier d’Olne, Group Technical Director at Aderco (Image: Aderco)
Aderco, the fuel treatment technology supplier, is warning that the IMO low sulphur fuel cap introduced in January 2020 has not eradicated the potential threats from the five key issues that can damage the health and maintenance of diesel engines.
The five issues – cat fines, sludge, compatibility issues, asphaltene and fuel stability – are addressed in a recent Aderco report, which offers solutions to improve fuel performance and prevent damage to maritime diesel engines.
The report follows a series of tests conducted in Belgium and Singapore on low sulphur fuels over recent months. According to Aderco, the tests show the use of a fuel treatment resulted in reduced commingling and improved fuel stability, reducing sludge and removing water from the new fuels.
Microbial growth is another area addressed in the report. The reduction in sulphur content in compliant fuels and Ultra Low Sulphur Marine Gas Oil, in particular, has coincided with 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 a fuel treatment, this eradicates any biological damage.
Olivier Baiwir, CEO of Aderco, said the latest report demonstrated the overall benefits of using fuel treatment technology.
“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. 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.
At Aderco we have been working with customers since last year on the lead up to the 2020 low sulphur cap and continuously since its introduction to ensure our fuel treatments will protect engines from corrosion and microbial damage, as we are acutely aware that these issues have not disappeared with the introduction of the new blended fuels in 2020. By using a reliable fuel treatment, ship owners, ship managers and operators can operate diesel engines without the worry about costly engine failures, lay-up or any off-hire caused by contamination, fuel instability and its associated problems. This use of a fuel treatment seems a small price to pay for peace of mind and operational efficiency.”