Key Factors to Consider When Buying Marine Heavy Fuel Oil

While searching for a good marine heavy fuel oil for your boat, there are many factors you should consider. Below we discuss: Low viscosity fuels, increased levels of cat fines, and pour point. Additionally, we’ll discuss the environmental impact of heavy fuel oil. Keep reading for some helpful tips! Once you’ve completed the checklist, you’ll be ready to buy your marine fuel oil!

Consider low viscosity fuels

The use of low viscosity marine heavy fuel oil has many benefits, but it also carries some inherent risks. When used improperly, the oil can cause engine failure. Insufficient quality can choke filters and sludge up the hull. Different fuel grades can create stability problems, as the bunker tanks have limited space. The oil must be changed frequently, and crews must watch for signs of fuel incompatibility.

Increased level of cat fines

Higher cat fines in marine heavy fuel oil may affect diesel engine performance and damage engine components. These particles, called cat fines, are made up of silicon and aluminum, complex alumino-silicates that vary in size and hardness. They may accumulate in the tank or enter the fuel system, causing problems with the fuel injection system and cylinder components.

Consider the density

Marine heavy fuel oil density is a fundamental factor determining its quality and quantity. This property calculates the amount of fuel delivered during the bunkering process. The density unit is kg/m3 at 15degC. The density of marine heavy fuel oil varies based on its kinematic and dynamic viscosity. The fuel can be atomized or pumped more readily depending on the density.

Increased pour point

A combination of factors determines the increased pour point of marine heavy fuel oil. This parameter is related to the flashpoint, the temperature at which a liquid will burn when exposed to an open flame. IMO has set the minimum flash point for marine fuel oil as 60o C. Likewise, the pour point refers to the temperature below a fluid that will cease to flow.

Environmental impact

Marine heavy fuel oil is a major contributor to air pollution. It has more than twice the amount of sulfur as road fuel. This pollution is bad for the environment and harmful to human health. It can contribute to acid rain, which harms crops and forests, and causes premature deaths. It also affects our health by causing respiratory disease. Therefore, it is important to make a switch to lower-sulfur marine fuel.

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