With COP26 talks in Glasgow aiming for climate goals of net-zero emissions by 2030 and 2050, replacing fossil fuels with biofuels is one of the primary ways to decarbonise the transport sector; this development will play an ever-increasing role in attaining these targets.
Aderco, a leading fuel treatment technology specialist with its roots originating from the maritime industry, is now set to draw on its six years of inland mining, power generation and transportation biofuels experience to support the maritime sector.
“Clearly, in addition to the maritime sector, the use of biofuels has already established itself in other markets. In particular, the automotive industry boasts some 20% of vehicles in Europe running on biofuels today; this figure is expected to increase to 50% in Brazil alone,” states Olivier Baiwir CEO of Aderco.
“As such, with energy majors now turning their attention to the production of this renewable energy, we see this as a real opportunity for the maritime industry.
“Furthermore, of equal importance and when comparing other solutions available in the market, only minor adjustments are required to the existing equipment on board when using biofuels as a marine fuel.”
Aderco expertise on the use of biofuels as bunker fuels
Biofuel is a living fuel and comes in different grades, ranging from B10 up to B100, or a 10 to 100% Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) blend. One of the challenges Aderco has observed with regard to FAME is that, dependent upon the actual grade, this will affect the pour point.
For example, a vessel operating in the Baltic sea in the middle of winter using FAME derived from palm trees originating from Indonesia will present pour point challenges, compared to that of pine trees grown in the north. Accordingly, it is imperative that the correct grade of FAME is always chosen.
Being extremely sensitive to water contamination, either through water content or condensation, the storage management of biofuels is vitally important; as is the correct storage temperature in order to ensure the least amount of condensation present.
As bacteria is already in biofuels, any water added will only encourage bacterial growth and affect the pH value which, in turn, can lead to oxidation issues during long storage periods. Regular checks of the pH level are necessary to ascertain the biofuels remain stable. Should the pH level diverge, fuel additives will invariably need to be added in order to ensure the biofuel stays within the operable range.
Both in terms of pour point and water settlement, the use of Aderco 2055G has shown to increase the former by 5-10°C dependent upon the origin of FAME and the latter has reacted in exactly the same manner as for other fuels.
The calorific efficiency of biofuels is slightly lower than that of the more traditional fuels the maritime sector has become used to. As well as from a geo-political perspective, one can also expect to pay a higher price due to the blending components. Due to the need to be a greener industry, the market may well ultimately balance the price.
Having invested heavily in R&D and holding a vast number of case studies today, Aderco has solutions for the optimum use of biofuels to offer performance for an extended period.
“Given the challenges mentioned, I am sure a number of readers question biofuels as a viable alternative to fossil fuels,” notes Baiwir.
“However, with Aderco having gained a wealth of experience through our inland operations, I can categorically state biofuels are indeed a real alternative and that we are here to transfer the extremely valuable knowledge gained over the past six years to the maritime sector, such that our customers are comfortable in the use of such biofuels.”
Aderco’s products are further classified as “non-hazardous”, according to Baiwir.
“Aderco has successfully treated an incredible forty billion tonnes of fuels over the past 40 years,” he shares.
“As a leading company in our sector, we believe it’s vitally important to not only share our values but to live them out also. Environmental sustainability is one of the key topics and issues that we strive to address internally every day in terms of our products.
“I am enormously proud of what we have achieved over the past 40 years. In close cooperation with our customers, suppliers and partners, we look forward with much enthusiasm to contributing more to our planet in the years to come.”
Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 26 November, 2021
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