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Handling of Fuel Oil additive - cargo ships procedure


Fuel additives are chemical compounds formulated to enhance the quality and efficiency of the fuels used. Environmental legislation to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy has a significant impact on fuel formulations and engine system design. As a result of low sulfur regulations, the composition, long term stability, lubricity, combustion quality, etc. of fuels are evolving due to either de-sulphurization of heavy fuel oil or blending. Fuel contamination with bio-related products mixed with fuels adds a new dimension to fuel's long term stability.

Typical types of additives are metal deactivators, corrosion inhibitors, oxygenates, and antioxidants. Fuel additive suppliers advocate for them to deliver flexible and advanced solutions to the ever-changing fuel market environment and fuel quality issues. Over many years, additive products have demonstrated benefits in some specific areas of marine applications.

The fuel additive technology could provide benefits for marine fuels, mainly in areas of enhancing fuel combustion and preventing the formation of particulates (combustion enhancing additives). The same additives also help prevent fouling of exhaust systems and economizers as well as provide a cleaner combustion system altogether. Therefore, it may be stated that additives have proven records concerning:
  1. Improvement of fuel combustion and reduction of particulate matter and visible smoke.
  2. Overcoming soot build-up in the exhaust system, thus ensuring the efficiency of the exhaust system including economizer by keeping them clean and foul free with a reduction in risk of fire.
  3. Reduction and inhibition of deposit build-up on piston rings, injector nozzles, and valves.
  4. Reduction and prevention of cylinder liner lacquering build-up.
  5. Protection against fuel pump and injector needle seizures commonly associated with ultra-low sulphur fuels.
  6. Extension of engine maintenance intervals and less engine downtime; saving both time and money.

The impact of fuel additives on engine fuel efficiency has not been proven despite some significant claims made by some suppliers. However and because of the better combustion efficiency and cleaner engine and exhaust system, some improvement in engine thermal efficiency is expected; but not significant.

Various fuel oil additives are available on the market. The use of additives, being chemicals, should take place with care and after full testing and consultation with engine manufacturers. Also, the right dosage at distinct periods should be observed. Also, treatment of fuel oil should be carried out following manufacturer's advice to ensure optimum performance from the combustion of fuel.

Following are the guideline for handling of FO additive

Sludge dispersants

The Chief Engineer shall avoid the common use of a sludge dispersant unless any abnormality is discovered.

In preparation for an emergency, five drums of sludge dispersant shall be kept on board all the time.

When a sludge-dispersant is used, the Chief Engineer shall submit to the Technical Superintendent a detailed report on the abnormal condition and utilization condition (a copy to the Fuel Section).

Mold-preventive agent

A mold-preventive agent shall be put in A oil in the following manners to prevent generation of mold, since a recent increase in ships burning only C-oil causes generation of mold to increase because of longer onboard storage periods of A-oil.

The agent shall be put into the A oil storage tanks, settling tanks, and service tanks in accordance with maker instructions. Two years after the last application, an additional application shall be made in accordance with maker instructions.

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