WSS warns of potential problems with ECA-compliant distillates

Company's range of fuel oil treatment products has been designed specifically for marine distillate fuels.

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Updated on 12 Mar 2015 14:44 GMT

New 0.1 percent sulphur limits in Emission Control Areas (ECA) have increased the use of distillate fuels, but without careful management and treatment they can cause significant harm to engines, stress Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) specialists.

Distillate fuels can cause blockages in fuel lines, in addition to damaging fuel pumps and injectors and in some cases contribute to the loss of engine power, according to Jonas Östlund [pictured], Product Marketing Manager Marine Chemicals, WSS.

"If you are aware of the fuel's basic properties and limitations, and are prepared to treat your distillates in order to manage and maximise their performance, they pose few challenges," says Östlund.

Released in 2014 in anticipation of regulatory changes concerning emissions, WSS's new range of fuel oil treatment products has been designed specifically for marine distillate low-sulphur fuels and is said to have been "positively received by customers".

Increasing your fuel's shelf-life

In a white paper published by Östlund, he argues that uncertainty regarding distillates can be easily overcome.

"For many customers working within the constraints of the 0.1 percent ECA sulphur cap, this added complexity is totally unwanted and unnecessary, and instead they are choosing to fall back on additional fuel treatments. However, using proven products - such as WSS's DieselPower Lubricity - will significantly improve the lubricity of low sulphur distillate fuel, reducing component wear."

Östlund explains that in addition to lubricity issues, the refinery process also eliminates distillates' naturally occurring antioxidants, which can cause the fuel to deteriorate. In response, refineries treat distillate fuels with stabilisers to prevent deterioration and the formation of peroxides, the forerunners to soluble gums.

Unfortunately, these stabilisers have a limited shelf life, typically of six months, after which deterioration can begin. If unchecked, this tends to lead to the formation of deposits, especially on the fuel injectors, but such fuel deterioration can also be tackled with additives, WSS explains.

Treatments such as WSS's DieselPower Enhancer are designed to be multifunctional, maintaining both fuel stability and improving lubricity whilst ensuring that ongoing concerns regarding the differing lubricity and stability of low-sulphur distillate fuels should disappear.

To read the white paper, please click on the link below:

White paper: Distillate fuel oil treatment by Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS)