LuminUltra highlights marine fuel quality concerns due to low sulfur cap from January in part due to biodiesel

November 11, 2019 |

In Canada, LuminUltra, the microbial monitoring specialist, has highlighted important concerns over the quality of some compliant fuels as the shipping industry gears up towards meeting the International Maritime Organization’s sulfur cap, which enters into force in January.

Commenting on the blending of biodiesel with HSFO and distillates, which go towards reducing the amount of SOx emitted during the combustion process, Patrick Taylor, LuminUltra’s newly appointed Director of Global Business Development, said: “The addition of biodiesel will reduce the sulfur content, but ship operators do need to be aware this can result in increased microbial influenced  corrosion (MIC). Less sulfur means more bugs.”

Taylor pointed out that the high sulfur content of residual fuel has been an “excellent inhibitor”, preventing the build-up of microbial growth and, consequently, the microbial induced corrosion of fuel tanks and systems.

“There is an increased biodiesel content in Marine Gas Oil (MGO) and we are seeing HSFO now being blended with recovered distillates to reduce the sulphur level. As biodiesel has a high water content, these new fuels can be nutrient-rich breeding grounds for microbiological growth. There are real risks, real safety concerns,” he said.

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