ISO Publishes ISO 8217:2024 Standard on Marine Fuel Specifications

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On May 30, the ISO announced the release of ISO 8217:2024, a revised marine fuel specification standard. This edition includes new tables for ultra-low sulfur fuels and bio-residual fuels, introduces new grades, and updates existing ones. The standard focuses on fuel quality, engine performance, environmental compliance, and safety. Key updates in Clauses 5 and 6 address bioproducts, added substances, and FAME content. VeriFuel will continue to test according to previous standards for the next three months before transitioning to the new standard, reports Safety4sea.

Marine fuel specifications

The standard includes two new tables, one for fuels with sulfur at or below 0.50% (ULSFO and VLSFO) and one for bio-residual fuels. New grades have been added and existing grades updated, with some less-used grades being removed. Three new annexes are introduced and existing annexes updated.

ISO 8217:2024 is an internationally recognized standard to ensure the quality of fuel meets customer requirements from point of manufacturing to point of custody transfer. It specifies the requirements for petroleum fuels before conventional onboard treatment and focused on:

  • Engine performance: Fuel must be fit for purpose
  • Environmental performance: Compliance meeting regulatory requirements
  • Ship safety and personnel health

This standard is used in a commercial agreement between buyer and supplier and gains only legal standing when included in vessel charter party agreements and fuel purchasing contracts

This ISO has been reviewed through the years to incorporate significant changes. During the 2024 GREEN4SEA Athens Forum, Bill Stamatopoulos, Global Business Development Director at VeriFuel explained the evolution of fuel specifications, noticing that  ‘‘since its inception in 1982 under British standards and subsequent transition to ISO 8217 in 1987, the standard has continually adapted to industry advancements.”

Following the announcement of the new standard which replaces the old version, VeriFuel commented: ”We are aware that it takes time to introduce a new standard to the market and as such we will continue to test and report to ISO 8217:2005 and ISO 8217:2010/2012/2017 as we do today for the next three months after which we will start reporting to the new standard. We will notify our clients accordingly closer to the date.”

Key Updates

CLAUSE 5

  • Clause 5.1 has been updated to also include bio-products
  • Clause 5.2 has been updated referring to added substances and chemical species
  • Clause 5.3 says fuels shall be free of inorganic acids and organic chlorides (also see clauses 6.6 and 6.17)

CLAUSE 6

  • HSFO is more sensitive to chemical aging
  • VLSFO with viscosity below 200cSt @ 50C is sensitive to both thermal and chemical aging

Also, Clause 6, and in particular 6.9, defines the applicable test methods to detect FAME. FAME content should be reported as per test method used (by mass or by volume) Suppliers can report the FAME content by blend ratio on a mass or volume basis.

With regards to Energy & Cetane index, the following are specified:
  • The formula for Specific Energy does not apply to DF and RF grades. Energy content can be tested as per ASTM D240
  • Cetane Index can be used for FAME grades instead of Cetane Number when CI ≥ 40

CLAUSE 9

  • FAME shall meet EN 14214 before blending
  • HVO shall meet EN 15940 before blending

VeriFuel informs that in case of disagreement concerning:
– density/FAME content, all parties shall agree, before additional testing, upon the test method to use [clause 6.1/6.9]
– sulfur content, all parties shall agree, before additional testing, upon the same sulfur-certified reference material and for RF grades upon the reference test method [clause 6.3]
– Acid number, all parties shall agree, before additional testing, upon which procedure of ASTM D664 shall be used [clause 6.6]
– Cetane index, the reference test method for DF grades shall be ISO 5165 [Clause 6.19]

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Source: Safety4sea