Manifold Times | FUJCON 2021: VPS experts offer insight on biofuel bunker properties at virtual roundtable

A rising variety of main shipowners have already begun trials on rising marine biofuels to energy their business vessels, based on experts at worldwide gasoline testing and inspection firm VPS.

The agency organised the VPS Fuel Management Challenges – Moving Forward in 2021 virtual roundtable on Thursday (25 March) as a part of the twelfth Fujairah International Bunkering and Fuel Oil Virtual Forum (FUJCON 2021).

VPS in-house experts led an in-depth dialogue on the tendencies and administration of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) and Oil Condition Monitoring (OCM); the presentation additionally included a piece on properties of marine biofuels.

Independent research on the properties of marine biofuels, although utilized by a small group of vessels out there for a number of years, have largely been unavailable as a result of product’s small uptake.

However, biofuels at the moment are more and more being trialled by quite a lot of shipowners and operators because of IMO 2030/2050 and a number of other samples have landed in VPS’ worldwide labs, notes its Managing Director AMEA.

“In the final three or 4 months we’ve got seen shipowners large and small testing out biodiesel and biofuels with totally different ranges of FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester),” shared Captain Rahul Choudhuri in response to a query from Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times.

“Based on testing and suggestions from quite a few operators, there’s nothing actually mistaken with the gasoline; every thing appears to be okay.”

Captain Choudhuri’s ideas had been echoed by Md Harun Ar Rashid, Technical Manager at VPS, who shared the quantity of biofuel bunker samples examined by VPS within the first quarter of 2021 was already equal to your entire quantity examined in 2020.

“The benefit of biofuels is that it’s simple to deal with and doesn’t want infrastructure in contrast to liquefied pure gasoline (LNG),” Rashid explains.

“It has good ignition combustion high quality, is low in aluminum silicon content material, and possesses good power worth. Generally, the chilly movement properties of biofuels are a bit larger than marine gasoline oil however when you’ve got heating, it must be superb.

“Also, one other essential level is definitely most biofuels have a sulphur restrict of 0.1% and 0.5%. So, when you’ve got finished the trial you possibly can principally use a single grade for each Emission Control Areas (ECAs) and worldwide waters.”

Stanley George, Group Technical & Science Manager at VPS, was optimistic of biofuels as a marine gasoline – however warned of its shortcomings.

“We’re nonetheless all within the studying curve however based mostly on what expertise we’ve got with biofuels at the second it’s secure to say that it’s a good high quality gasoline and I believe there’s a good scope of utilizing the fabric as a marine gasoline,” he says.

“However, at final examine we’ve got additionally discovered biofuels to trigger corrosion of the bunker gasoline tanks because of oxidation; therefore, correct storage of biofuels is vital.

“Discounting the varied kinds of biofuels obtainable out there, there are additionally many do’s and don’ts when utilizing biofuels as a marine gasoline that shipowners have to pay attention to.”

Similar to the full sediment potential (TSP) and reserve stability quantity checks carried out for VLSFOs, biofuel bunker samples might want to bear an oxidation and stability take a look at with situation monitoring to know their potential for extended storage, recommends Rashid. 

“We will probably be completely happy to advise and information shipowners and operators on how trials must be carried out; a number of of our greatest shoppers are already on the trial part and will probably be shopping for and utilizing this new breed of different gasoline very quickly.”


Photo credit score: VPS and FUJCON 2021
Published: 1 April, 2021

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