Excessive storage times behind VLSFO Stability Issues says an article on Ship and bunker.
VLSFO blends being left for too long in their finished state may be behind stability issues for the news fuel.
The varied nature of the new VLSFO blends was always likely to result in stability problems in some cases as unsuitable or mistreated fuels separated in tanks, and there have been sporadic reports of these problems since the IMO 2020 transition.
“This fuel instability pandemic seems concurrent with the global covid19 version, and for good reason,” says, Ralph Lewis CEO of Newport
A major contributing factor is longer than expected fuel storage times, thanks to the Covid19 slowdown in bunker deliveries.
Fuel testing of a sample within days of receipt will often be conducted too early for the problem to be detected, as instability reactions are progressive and become much worse over time.
For this reason, onboard spot testing for compatibility is often inadequate with VLSFO. “Within a few days of bunkering, the purification system begins to struggle”.
Newport recommends two of its additive products as a solution to this problem: NP-HFO and NP-FOT.
“Sludge and insoluble precipitation are greatly reduced,” Lewis said.
The icing on the cake is a marked improvement in thermal stability which provides enhanced ignition quality, inhibition of damaging deposits, and reductions in particulates and unburned hydrocarbons.
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Source: Ship and bunker