Risks of FAME contamination in the marine fuel supply chain
From January 2020, new regulations introduced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will dramatically reduce the permitted sulphur content in marine fuels from 3.5% to 0.5%. The IMO 2020 limit will apply to fuel oil used on ships operating outside designated ECA's and is intended to reduce environmental impacts resulting from exhaust emissions.
In order to adhere to IMO 2020, many fuel producers will turn to blended fuel oils containing Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) to create compliant biofuel alternatives. While this option does achieve a lower sulphur content, the use of FAME fuels also increases the risk of free water, creates favourable conditions for the development of microbial contamination and lowers the lubricity of the fuel.
Even for operators that choose to circumvent the sulphur limit using technologies such as exhaust scrubbers, there are still a host of cross contamination threats present throughout the supply chain, meaning that a proactive approach to fuel stewardship is required.
The Star Fuel Testing and Treatment range has been developed specifically in response to the IMO 2020 regulations. The range allow operators to validate fuel composition and quality at the point of on-boarding, while providing treatment additives to tackle fuel contamination, coagulation and deterioration. Download our fuel stewardship brochure to find out more.