Formulating next generation marine lubricants
09 June 2020
13 June 2019
On January 1 2020, in an effort to realise major health and environmental benefits, the IMO will cut the global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships from 3.5% to 0.50% (outside emission control areas, where the limit is already 0.10%). As marine industry stakeholders decide on the best ways to meet the legislation, our video promotes Infineum fuels and lubricants technology solutions which can help meet the upcoming 0.50% global sulphur cap.
IMO 2020 is about sulphur regulations to the environment. It’s a massive impact on the industry and there’s a lot of discussions going on in the industry.
The main issues for the industry now is actually uncertainty, it’s planning and preparation. We expect stability to be an issue potentially, it’s cold flow properties of these new fuels because the blend components changes in the future.
So Infineum started several years ago looking at these different fuels. We anticipate that to begin with a lot of distillate fuels will be used but this will rapidly transition to a system whereby a lot of 0.5% heavy fuels are being used.
If we look at 2020, the way I see it, it’s very important that technical and procurement department from operator side that they speak together because a lot of these fuels coming out they’re actually good fuels.
Cold flow properties is a fantastic fuel; paraffins, waxes they burn very well, have excellent ignition and combustion properties. So a vessel getting a high paraffinic product with a lot of wax can burn it if they have the installation in order to cope with it.
Infineum has a full range of additives that are capable of operating in the current fuel sulphur world, so 0.1% in an ECA and 3.5% in the open ocean. As we move to January 1st 2020 that global fuel sulphur cap will come down from 3.5% to 0.5% and we are developing a range of new products that can meet the needs of those new fuels.
In a new world where you have this new 0.5% sulphur fuel it could be a combination of the worst of both worlds. So you may now encounter a fuel that has both lacquer challenges and ashphaltene challenges together in the same place and the opportunity for both Infineum and our customers is to have a product that meets the need of that new variable unknown fuel type.
As the global leader in both cold flow and lubricity additives worldwide we already have a full range of products that can provide solutions in those areas. In addition working with our colleagues in the lubricants division we’re bringing other solutions to the table to deal with ashphaltene compatibility, liner lacquering and potentially even combustion improvement.
Infineum is also very active in industry bodies like CIMAC and ISO. In these groups ship operators, OEM’s, oil companies and ourselves as additive companies can come together to ensure that we’re providing the solutions that are required for the industry as we go forward.
So the Infineum organisation has a number of different teams. We have a team focussed on Research and Development who understand the way materials work, they develop new components and there’s a fundamental understanding aspect of their role.
We have a Product Technology, a Product Development group who look at how we put the formulations together. And then we have a CTS group, a Customer Technical Service group who work with our customers to understand how we can make market general products fit for their use or wok with them to develop bespoke technology.
So working together as a lubricants and a fuels group we’re trying to understand what those new fuels might be in the market but also the ways in which Infineum can work together to deliver a holistic solution for our customers.
There is a lot of uncertainty but I do think that we have the means, we have the skills in the industry and by knowledge sharing, by transparency we’ll also make it and get through 2020 in a good way.