Fuel Quality Testing
Sulphur Cap 2020 implications
Total Base Number, InfraRed assessment, ICP Analysis and Viscosity
Driven by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the marine industry is currently going through important and significant environmental changes through a reduction in sulphur content of marine fuel from 3.5% to 0.5%. To fulfil this new requirement, stakeholders in the industry are debating and considering the merits of alternative fuels, different engine equipment and configurations as well as advances in scrubber cleaning technology. Fuels and lubricants both come into contact with engine systems so any changes that occur will have an even wider impact on marine vessel equipment. To minimise the impact of any negative consequences it is important to manage this change effectively.
During the combustion cycle, Sulphur in the fuel is released forming SO2 (Sulphur Dioxide) and some of this forms SO3 (Sulphur Trioxide). Water contained within the scavenging air and from the combustion process reacts to form Sulphuric Acid. It is important, therefore, to monitor and control any negative and potentially damaging effects of acidity and alkalinity.
In built mechanisms in the form of oil additives are designed to improve the lubricant performance of the base oil. The choice of additives is determined by the specific application. For the 2020 change, alkalinity additives (like Calcium Carbonate) will be useful to combat oil acidity.
Our range of additional tests
|Total Acid Number||Acid / Base Titration||Acidity of oil, oxidation|
|Total Base Number||Acid / Base Titration||Alkalinity of oil, depletion of additives|
|Viscosity||Kinematic viscosity||Breakdown of lubricant protective capability|
|Additive Metals||Atomic Emission Spectroscopy||Depletion of additives|
|Oxidation||Infra Red Spectroscopy||Oxidation of oil, high temperatures, increased acidity|