A ‘Silver Bullet’ Cylinder Oil for Any Sulphur Fuel!


Up until January 2015 vessels transiting ECAs switched between high sulphur residual fuel and low sulphur residual fuel.  For the liners operated in and out of ECAs, it was found not to be absolutely necessary to switch cylinder oils as the engines were operated safely with a 70BN conventional cylinder oil.

Since January 2015 vessels are running on high sulphur residual fuel such as HS RMK 700 (<3.5% Sulphur) and ULSFO or DMO (<0.1% Sulphur).  With these very different fuels it is now necessary to use two cylinder oils typically a BN 70 and a BN25.  This adds complexity particularly with vessels with one day tank.  At switch over the lubricant in the day tank risked ending up with a BN between 25 and 70 and not 25 or 70 as required.  To further complicate matters, the sustained use of slow steaming combine with the Tier II engine tuning has promote the introduction on the market of engines that are more challenging to lubricate. New generation engines and de-rated engines require a BN 100 lubricant. So the challenge now is to switch between a BN 100 and a BN 25 cylinder oils in coordination with the fuel switchover.

On this regard, here is one important news where the oil majors have started to come out with “One Lube for any sulphur content Fuel”.

Total Lubmarine has received a no objection letter from Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) for the use of its cylinder lubricant Talusia Optima with the whole range of Wärtsilä engines.

Talusia Optima is a new cylinder lube oil (CLO) suitable for use with fuels ranging in sulphur content from 0-3.5%.  The product is currently being tested on a range of ships and is expected to be brought to market later in 2016.

TOTAL came out with a new generation of lubricant. This cylinder oil will build on the Single Oil already proposed to the market 8 years ago by TOTAL. This will allow the use of only one lubricant in operation with any kind of fuel, even when operating in ECAs for at least 10 days.

“This new Cylinder oil was proposed by TOTAL 8 years ago!”

With a new organic chemistry called Ash-free Neutralising Molecules (ANM), more efficient neutralization is obtained, as well as an improved resistance to deposit formation. Without the mineral component hard deposits can be avoided. This innovative way of formulating a lubricant has been evaluated in an extensive field trial in comparison with classical formulations. The aim of the field test was to demonstrate that operation and technical issue can be answered by the use of innovative chemistry.

Talusia Optima completed over 4300 hours of validation tests on-board a mega boxship deployed on Asia-Europe liner routes. The vessel’s engine, a two-stroke Wärtsilä 14RT-flex96C-B, underwent a series of engine inspections and oil analyses throughout the test period and performed satisfactorily, meeting Wärtsilä’s requirements.


The oil uses ash-free neutralizing molecules (ANM), which provide super-neutralization, outstanding cylinder cleanliness and the potential to reduce feed rates.

Total Lubmarine’s technical director Jean-Philippe Roman said: “Talusia Optima is an exciting new development and a step forward for the lubes industry.  It is the first and only cylinder lube oil on the market able to lubricate engines operating with fuels with any sulphur content. It will bring an end to the need for vessels to change lubricant when entering and leaving ECAs, making life easier for ships’ crews.

We’re delighted with its performance to date and are confident that we will bring it to market soon.”

The principle drivers behind the development of Talusia Optima have been emission regulation deadlines set by the IMO, technologies created in response to these regulations and the recommendations of OEMs and vessel operation optimization.

Serge Dal Farra, Total Lubmarine’s global marketing manager said: “Research carried out with our customers indicated their need for a simple, flexible product to counter the complexity of shipping operations in the current regulatory environment.

Not only does Talusia Optima simplify engine lubrication for engineers, but used in conjunction with a well monitored feed rate reduction program, offers potential savings. There is an all-round customer benefit.”

WinGD has given approval for the use of Talusia Optima with its Wärtsilä RTA, RT-flex and X engines as well as in Sulzer 2-stroke engines.

Here we bring out some interesting test results:

Field Test – TALUSIA OPTIMA (SAE50/BN100):

Conditions of Field Test:

Time Schedule: From July 2015 to March 2016

• Test running hours: >4000hrs

Fuel selection: –

Outside ECA fuel: up to 3.5% S

Inside ECA fuel: < 0.1% S

Cylinder Lubricants configuration:

Outside ECA:

Cyl. Units 1 to 7: TALUSIA OPTIMA Cyl.

Units 8 to 14: TALUSIA HR70

Inside ECA:

All cyl. units: TALUSIA OPTIMA Reference cyl. units on candidate side were no. 3 & 4

Drain Oil Results:


The drain oil samples collected after 3000 running hours show clearly a better behavior to confront corrosive wear with TALUSIA OPTIMA (blue dots) compared with TALUSIA HR 70 (red dots) – see the above image.

Engine Conditions:


An intermediate inspection has been performed after approximately 3000 running hours of test in order to assess the engine conditions and the cylinder lubricant performance.  The following photos show the engine condition after the vessel had sailed in ECA with FO < 0.1%S for approx. 5 days.


Here in the above image, the condition of the piston on unit no.4 (reference) when lubricated with TALUSIA OPTIMA in ECA (0.1%S).  No excessive deposits have been observed and piston top lands did not present off-white calcium deposits on the piston crowns (see figure. 20).


In the operation of a Low Speed 2-Stroke Marine Diesel engine, several factors contribute to the complexity of properly lubricating main engine cylinders. The main impacting factor is the new fuel sulphur limit when transiting in ECAs, fixed at 0.1% m/m maximum since January 2015. In this case, the gap between ECA fuels and the global sulphur cap of 3.5% m/m is much more significant to consider the use of a unique cylinder lubricant, even for a short period of time. On top of that, the switching operation is far from being efficient while sailing in and out ECAs, with BN not immediately adapted to the need of the engine, due to the current configuration of vessels with only one daily tank onboard. This mismatch can last up to 24 hours. The Single Cylinder Oil called TALUSIA OPTIMA is the solution to move beyond classical formulations with the introduction of the innovative Ashfree Neutralizing Molecules (ANM) that are able to provide basicity at a high level without bringing the downside of metallic based detergent, i.e. deposits accumulation upon oil degradation.  Its BN level fulfills the OEM requirements and allows coping with the most severe conditions of the modern engine types. The well-balanced combination of high quality CaCO3 detergents for cleanliness and Ashfree Neutralizing Molecules for neutralisation efficiency without the drawback of deposits build-up, gives the TALUSIA OPTIMA the ability to be the simplest solution for an operator whose vessels trade frequently in and out ECAs.

Source: CIMAC & TOTAL Lubmarine – ALL Images and service test results are from the paper published at the CIMAC 2016, Helsinki. The contents are extracted from the CIMAC paper and published here for easy readability for our audience.

Paper Title:

From the Lab to the Field, how new chemistry can solve the operating issues of 2-stroke engines transiting ECA zones

Presented By:

Valérie Doyen, TOTAL Marketing &Services – Centre de Recherches de Solaize.

Philippe RENAUD, CMA Ships – Efficiency & Technology department.

Antoine MEZIN, TOTAL Marketing & Services – Lubmarine Technical Department.

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