Importance of Nonlinearity of Bunker Component Properties and Its Solutions


A recent news report published in Manifold Times features the paper titled “IMO 2020 and the importance of nonlinear blending properties calculation” .  The paper authored by Eliseo Curcio, the Vice President and CFO at Refinery Automation Institute, LLC (RAI), highlights the role nonlinearity of bunker component properties and its solutions.

Insights on linear blending properties Calculations

This is considered as a large mistake.  It overestimates or underestimates valuable or safety-related properties (i.e., viscosity, flashpoint, pour point, etc.).  It can result in significant financial losses.

The paper further points out that though nonlinear blending properties calculation is a simple concept, majority of the blenders and shipowners calculate bunker blend component properties linearly. 

Insights on nonlinear blending properties of calculation

 Bunker fuel oil and hydrocarbon based components do not attract each other.  The chemical interactions modify the behaviour of the solution or blend when components are mixed together.

The paper projects the examples of differences between results of linear and nonlinear calculated bunker blends.  It also validates the accuracy of nonlinear calculations with data from a fuel testing laboratory. 

Profit and quality of final bunker product

A terminal or refinery that produces 100,000 tpd of bunker fuel shows a difference of $44 MM/yr in profit just by considering the nonlinearity of the blend property calculation.

The economic benefit is not the only advantage of using the nonlinear correlation. Use of wrong calculations for properties like flashpoint, pour point and compatibility can significantly impact the quality of the final bunker product, as well as the safety of operations.

“Blenders and terminal operators should sell compliant VLSFO that meets all specifications and is both stable and compatible.” concludes Curcio, the author of this paper. 

The complete paper IMO 2020 and the importance of nonlinear blending properties calculation is available for viewing at this link.

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Source: Manifold Times



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