MaritimeNews ® 07-Mar-2018 16:25
Illustration; Image Courtesy: FTA
A new fuel which aims to meet all air emission regulations while simplifying the fuel system and reducing investment costs is being developed, DNV GL said.
Being developed and tested by Japan-based Oshima Shipbuilding, the fuel would be compliant with SOx and NOx regulations without requiring spacious and costly equipment to be installed on board, according to the classification society.
“This new fuel makes compliance with both SOx and NOx regulation possible without investments in expensive and complex equipment on board,” Tatsurou Iwashita, Deputy Yard General Manager, Oshima Shipbuilding, said.
As explained, the new fuel type Super Eco Fuel is produced by mixing lightcycle oil (LCO), a secondary refinery product, with gas-to-liquid (GTL), a liquid fuel made from natural gas, and water.
LCO has a low sulfur content but poor ignition performance. On the other hand, GTL contains almost no sulfur or other impurities, features high ignition performance and a complete combustion process. When mixed in the right quantities the result is a fuel that meets the 2020 0.5% global sulfur cap.
As a second step, adding water and adjusting the fuel mix results in a fuel that satisfies both the 0.1% ECA sulfur limit and is NOX Tier III-compliant. In addition, the specific fuel oil consumption is slightly lower. CO2 emissions and soot formation are reduced as well.
LCO and GTL can be stored separately in the normal fuel tanks. In addition, the fuel can be used in existing engines without modifications, making it relevant for retrofitting to existing ships. The fuel is mixed on board by a mixing unit.
Preliminary tests of the fuel characteristics, engine performance and reliability have yielded satisfactory results. Further tests are planned, DNV GL further said.
The largest challenges are said to be the supply and bunkering of the individual fuel components, which must be addressed before the fuel will be accepted and used widely. Similar to other fuels, there are uncertainties with price fluctuations over time. The cost of the new fuel mix is expected to be higher than standard HFO at current rates but lower than for other LSFO options.
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