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Infineum releases Sustainability Report 2023 outlining its sustainability progress

Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and looks forward to the next 25 years of progress towards its net zero ambition by 2050, says CEO.

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Press release Infineum remains focused on our purpose to become a sustainable world class specialty chemicals company

Infineum, a specialty chemicals company headquartered in the UK, on Thursday (13 June) released its fourth annual Sustainability Report, reinforcing its purpose to create a sustainable future through innovative chemistry.

Aligned with the company’s strategic plan to achieve its vision and purpose, Infineum announces:

Publication of its Sustainability Report 2023 (Sustainability.Infineum.com), which outlines the efforts and progress that the company has achieved through the year, including:

  • Championing of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) throughout the organisation
  • Achievement of 28% of colleagues volunteering, surpassing its 2025 target of 25%
  • Increased share of relevant supplier spends covered by sustainability assessments to 62%

Launch of revamped corporate website (www.Infineum.com) to better represent Infineum as a specialty chemicals company, showcasing Infineum’s existing capabilities, as well as diversification in the new markets

The joint venture, formed in 1999 between Shell and Exxon Mobil, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and recently shared its restructure strategy to two business units, Sustainable Transportation and Energy Applications.

“As Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and we look forward to the next 25 years of progress towards our net zero ambition by 2050, I am pleased to share our fourth annual sustainability report,” says Infineum CEO Aldo Govi.

“This is a journey and we have made excellent progress, but improvement will not always be linear, especially when set against the backdrop of a challenging external environment, but our purpose of creating a sustainable future through innovative chemistry, continues to drive us forward.

“We remain focused on our vision to become a sustainable world-class specialty chemicals company. Sustainability was at the core of reshaping Infineum to better enable us to contribute to sustainable mobility and the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

 

Photo credit: Infineum
Published: 13 June 2024

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Infineum: Using liquid methanol fuels in heavy-duty and marine engines

Paul Cooper and Joanna Hughes from Gane Energy talk about advantages of using liquid methanol fuels in internal combustion engines and how fuel additives can help to overcome challenges of using methanol as a fuel.

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Infineum marine fuels additives receive performance recognition from Lloyd’s Register

International fuel additives company Infineum on Tuesday (9 July) published an article on its Insight website of Paul Cooper and Joanna Hughes from Gane Energy, sharing about the advantages of using liquid methanol fuels in internal combustion engines and how fuel additives can help to overcome some of the challenges of using methanol:

End users and OEMs in both the maritime and heavy-duty vehicle/engine industries are exploring the ways alternative fuels, such as methanol, ammonia and hydrogen, can help them to meet tightening emissions regulations and decarbonisation targets. 

Gane Energy, a fuel development and licensing company based in Melbourne, Australia, has a vision to provide a clear pathway to carbon neutrality through a cost-effective, readily available, low-risk alternative to diesel which can leverage existing infrastructure. To that end it has developed a liquid methanol fuel, for use in heavy-duty and marine engines, that it is now working to commercialise. Gane Energy's fuel is made from methanol (CH3OH), water,  a small amount of di-methyl ether (CH3OCH3) along with performance fuel additives. So, given Gane Energy's work in this area, we asked them what they consider to be the environmental benefits of using liquid methanol fuel instead of diesel fuel or marine fuel oils?

Joanna said: “Now methanol is the simplest alcohol. It does not have any carbon-carbon bonds and fundamentally does not produce any soot when it combusts. Furthermore, the temperature of combustion of methanol in an engine is lower than with the classic long chain hydrocarbon fuels. And that lower temperature of combustion means that you produce dramatically lower NOx.”

“And that has a natural advantage of course in terms of emissions to air, but what it also means is that for end users or customers, the exhaust aftertreatment that you have to carry on your ship or implement with your engine are significantly reduced. Or in some cases, for example using Gane Fuel, they can be avoided altogether and still meet regulated emissions levels.”

“If methanol is made from renewable sources, then effectively the CO2 that is captured in the fuel is then released when it's burned in the ship. And so from a net basis, the methanol as a fuel is carbon neutral, so not adding any net CO2 to the atmosphere.”

One of the challenges associated with methanol use, particularly in marine applications, has been the need to use a pilot fuel to ignite it in the engine. While the majority of the energy to power the vessel is supplied by methanol this approach still uses a significant quantity of conventional fuel, which means it is not ideal in a world looking to decarbonise. But, as Paul explains, progress has been made on this front and, by using a different approach, they have been able to remove the need for a pilot fuel.

Paul, said: “So the approach we've taken is that we take a small quantity of the methanol in Gane Fuel and we pass it over a catalyst and we convert it through that process to dimethyl ether.”

“What we do with that is we put that in the inlet air as a fumigant, and that comes in with the air and creates the conditions that when the piston rises and that creates the heat, the DME ignites, and then the methanol, which is in our fuel, is supplied under high pressure into the cylinder, and that creates the event to enable the methanol to combust. So we achieve through the use of Gane Fuel, a combustion of methanol without requiring a diesel pilot fuel.”

Methanol vs hydrogen and ammonia

Methanol is not the only alternative fuel option available to the maritime and commercial vehicle industries. Ammonia and hydrogen are also being explored by many OEMs as potential options to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and it looks likely that we can expect a multi-fuel, multi technology future. Currently, Joanna estimates that some one billion tonnes a year of diesel-like products are used, that could potentially be substituted with such alternatives. To achieve the progress that is needed in terms of decarbonisation, she believes it's important that there are multiple solutions available. With this in mind we asked her to share some of the benefits methanol has vs hydrogen and ammonia.

“I think one of the most important points is the technology readiness level. Methanol is in use today as a marine fuel, and so our speed at which we can transition to net carbon neutrality is greatly enhanced through adopting and continuing to accelerate the adoption of methanol in these industries,” said Joanna. 

“I think the other point in terms of methanol versus ammonia and hydrogen that's important to bring out is the supply chain. Methanol is a liquid at ambient conditions. So in terms of the fuel suppliers, but also very importantly in terms of the end users, the ability to transport and store methanol is significantly easier and lower cost than the same task as required for ammonia or hydrogen.”

Future directions

There has been a good uptake of methanol in the marine industry and the order book for new methanol capable vessels is growing. Data published by DNV shows that almost 16% of the ships on order are alternatively fuelled vessels with methanol out in front in new contracts in the last 12 months. However, cutting the data by how much the ship can carry (DWT), excluding LNG carriers, then almost 32% on order are alternatively fuelled vessels.

Infineum: Using liquid methanol fuels in heavy-duty and marine engines

But, it’s not only these new vessels that can benefit from the emissions reduction benefits that running on methanol brings. Joanna says that the fact ships can be retrofitted to run on methanol is important for two reasons.

“One is in terms of the potential to accelerate our transition to carbon neutrality, and the second is the efficiency or the economic efficiency, but also in terms of materials of being able to leverage existing infrastructure. And by that I mean existing infrastructure in terms of a liquid fuel to transport and store. And also in terms of the existing infrastructure in terms of the engines,” said Joanna. 

Additives support alternative fuels

As the use of methanol grows in various transportation applications, the use of high quality fuel additives will be vital to ensure hardware protection.

“Methanol as a fuel offers many advantages in terms of the combustion properties, the emissions. It does give rise to certain issues that need to be addressed, specifically lubricity and potentially corrosivity as well. And I think these are the two key areas where additives can be helpful,” said Paul.

Lubricity improver additives create a protective film on the metal surfaces, which reduces friction and wear. This not only ensures smoother engine operation but also prolongs the lifespan of engine components. Corrosion inhibitor additives form a barrier between the methanol fuel and the surface of the metal to prevent corrosion-related damage.

Alternative fuels, such as methanol, ammonia and hydrogen will have a key role to play in the drive to decarbonise the internal combustion engine. Infineum is fully committed to ensuring that suitable fuel and lubricant additives are ready to support the introduction of these alternative fuels to the global market.

Note: Watch the videos featuring Paul Cooper and Joanna Hughes from Gane Energy and read full article here

 

Photo credit: Infineum
Published: 11 July 2024

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Infineum: Partnering for marine lubricant field trials deliver wins for shipping companies

Hellen da Silva explains how partnerships Infineum forms with global shipping companies to run extensive field trials needed to gain approvals from major OEMs provide real win-win opportunities for everyone involved.

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Infineum marine fuels additives receive performance recognition from Lloyd’s Register

International fuel additives company Infineum on Tuesday (5 March) published an article on its website, Insight, sharing on Infineum teaming up with globals shipping firms to run collaborative marine lubricant field trials to gain approvals from major OEMs before they can be sold to vessel owners and operators. 

The following is an excerpt from the full the article: 

In the marine world there are no industry-wide specifications for engine oils. This means marine lubricants must undergo formal validation trials to obtain approvals from the major OEMs before they can be sold to vessel owners and operators. Hellen da Silva, Infineum Field Test Team Leader, explains how the partnerships Infineum forms with global shipping companies to run the extensive field trials needed to gain these approvals provide real win-win opportunities for everyone involved.

Obtaining an OEM approval (known as a ‘Main No-objection Letter’ or NOL) for a marine lubricant is a long and fairly complex process. Without this endorsement, suppliers are unable to sell their marine lubricant products to vessel owners or operators. Part of the validation is carried out, following OEM protocols and under OEM scrutiny, in vessels operating at sea, which brings added reassurance of product quality and reliability to end users. The challenge here is finding sufficient partners, running ships with an engine that meets the OEM requirements, who are prepared to run field trials with a test oil.

There are many reasons Infineum needs to run a lubricant validation programme on its marine additives for diesel cylinder lubricants (MDCL), trunk piston engine oils (TPEO) and system oil formulations. It may be necessary for example to:

  • Gain approval for a new base oil in an existing or new formulation.
  • Extend an approval on an existing or new formulation for new lubricant oil marketer.
  • Assist lubricant oil marketers with bespoke formulation approvals.
  • Validate the latest advances in marine lubrication technology.

As OEM engine hardware, operating patterns and fuel types continue to change, it becomes increasingly important to develop lubricant solutions that meet current standards and are also adaptable to meet future demands. This necessity highlights the importance of creating new partnerships with engine owners and operators to ensure our products are tested under real-world conditions that reflect both current and emerging engine technologies. But, to run an effective field trial, we need to find partners who can give us access to the right engine, running on the right fuel that is operating over sufficient distances. Through such forward-thinking collaborations, we aim to make sure our lubricants excel in a rapidly changing technological environment, secure their relevance and performance for the long term, and to ensure safe and reliable operation.

Benefits of collaborative field trials

Our previous collaborations with shippers have been long-standing, mutually beneficial and very positive experiences. The knowledge accumulated from running trials over the past several decades has enabled us to understand from our partners the benefits that they can gain from partnering on these validation testing programmes.

Probably the most obvious is that the oil for the entire duration of the trial is provided free of charge. With field trials lasting many months, or even longer, this can result in significant cost savings for the operator.

Because the trial is overseen by the engine manufacturer, the crew and Superintendent receive inspection information from OEM experts at the start and end of test unit overhauls. This means that the crew and management can benefit from direct expertise, and engines can be operated at optimal efficiency and reliability throughout the trial. In addition, regular analyses of used lube oil and fuel are carried out throughout the trial. With dedicated Infineum marine lubricant experts and qualified marine engineers monitoring the project, insights into the oil and engine performance are also available. Infineum’s experts are dedicated to working closely with our partners which enhances the collective understanding of lubricant performance. We have found that a high performing oil can increase the lifetime of components, which can contribute to considerable long-term cost savings.

Note: The full article by Infineum can be found here.

 

Photo credit: Infineum
Published: 7 March 2024

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Infineum marine fuels additives receive performance recognition from LR

LR assessment involved lab testing and a field trial, which resulted in an Additive Performance Certificate and Statement of Fact.

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Infineum marine fuels additives receive performance recognition from Lloyd’s Register

International fuel additives company Infineum on Monday (4 March) said it has independently tested and verified their marine fuels products' claims with Lloyd's Register (LR). 

The LR assessment involved lab testing and a field trial, which resulted in an Additive Performance Certificate and Statement of Fact.

The range of marine fuels additives cover lubricity and combustion improvers, as well as wax and sludge management products.

“All these products have been proven to enhance onboard operability, making them effective solutions for ship operators to reduce potential issues and optimise fleet performance,” the firm said in a statement.

“The recognition from Lloyd's Register is a clear attestation of the scientific approach taken to product development, which maximises value for customers.”

Users can expect, on average:

  • Over 40% reduction in sludge, resulting in less time spent on purifier and fuel system maintenance (measured by TSP)
  • Over 30% reduction in pump and injector wear, resulting in extended lifetime of parts (measured by HFRR)
  • Improvement of 7.5oC and 13oC in filter blocking and fuel solidification, ensuring fuel operability at lower temperatures (measured by CFPP/PP)
  • Over 10% saving in carbon monoxide emissions, on top of NOx and fuel consumption savings which enable cost negative environmental improvements (measured via onboard field trial)

Masayuki Yamanaka, Marine Venture Manager at Infineum, said: “Our fuel additives are designed to enhance the performance and efficiency of conventional fuels, reducing emissions and fuel consumption for the shipping industry.”

“We are proud of our products and the benefits they bring to our customers and the environment, but we are not complacent.”

“We are also investing in R&D to explore the potential of future fuels, such as biofuels, methanol and ammonia, that can help shipping decarbonise even further. We believe that innovation is the key to a sustainable future for the maritime sector.”

 

Photo credit: Infineum
Published: 5 March 2024

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