Fuel System Check

The importance of Fuel Checks


FSC utilizes sample analysis for monitoring the condition of the fuel oil system and the effectiveness of the fuel oil treatment plant. Please also refer to the VPS Catfines Size Distribution (CSD) screening service which can be used in conjunction with the FSC programme to ensure adequate treatment is being obtained.

Proper centrifuge operation is essential for removing fuel impurities such as catalytic fines (Al+Si) and water. From our experience, the fuel treatment systems onboard many vessels do not always operate at optimal efficiency levels. This means impurities from bunkers entering the engine combustion chamber may not have been adequately reduced to a level for safe engine operation. With the FSC programme, malfunctions and defects in the centrifuges can be identified.

Based on the ISO8217:2005 maximum limit on Aluminium+Silicon (Al+Si) of 80 mg/kg, major engine manufacturers recommend less than 15 mg/kg at the engine inlet, i.e. approximately 80% of the Al+Si content has to be removed in the fuel treatment plant. Stricter Al+Si limits are stated in the latest specification, ISO8217:2012, with the maximum limit reduced to 60 mg/kg Al+Si, providing better protection to the engine.


When should Fuel Checks be performed?


  • Periodically for routine checks;
  • When operational problems are experienced;
  • When poor quality bunkers are delivered;
  • When Fuel Quality Testing reports indicate Al+Si > 40 mg/kg, based on which VPS recommends FSC samples to be submitted.

Fuel System Check (FSC) testing helps monitor the overall efficiency of the vessel’s fuel treatment plant, as well as the condition of the individual fuel cleaning components.