New fuel testing service aims to identify fuel blend stability
Mixing two or more fuels, whether on a large scale or on ships during fuel changeovers, can at times create an unstable mix, which in turn can cause asphaltenic sludge formation. A new service is aiming to help identify how blends are likely to behave, so fuel users can be prepared for potential problems and take appropriate preventive actions if necessary.
The PT5 Organic Deposition Marine Fuel Blending Programme from Intertek uses well known advanced testing methods (IR/NIR Spectroscopy) combined with Intertek proprietary technology (PT5) to predict the stability of fuel blends. It can also assess differences in blend stability with and without an additive aimed at improving fuel blends stability.
Intertek says the benefits of the PT5 programme include gaining insight into the inherent stability of products onboard vessels, for example how it will behave during storage, and can help operators predict the mixing capabilities of fuels during operations. The latter is particularly relevant during fuel changeovers from high sulphur heavy fuel oil to low sulphur fuels for ships heading into emission control areas (ECAs).
The service includes Blend Evaluation Reports for that generate a set of reports for target fuel blends, helping to calculate specific blending ratios.
The service and the calculation methods used to assess the stability fuels and blends, draws on extensive testing of the stability of various fuel blends, with and without an additive, performed by the Process Assurance Group (PAG) Intertek laboratory.
The PT5 programme is available via Intertek Shipcare.