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Oldendorff Carriers shares results of study on B20 advanced bio bunker fuel blend

Firm provides findings of study that it asked MIT to conduct in 2019 on long-term stability and degradation of a B20 biofuel to address concerns when stored in vessels’ bunker tankers.

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Dry bulk ship owner and operator Oldendorff Carriers provides findings of a study that it asked Massachusetts Institute of Technology to conduct in 2019 on long-term stability and degradation of a B20 advanced biofuel blend to address concerns when stored in vessels’ bunker tankers:

In 2019, Oldendorff Carriers signed a research agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA). The purpose of the research agreement was to investigate disruptive improvements in ship design, propulsion, and alternative energy sources to help achieve the enhanced decarbonization targets to 2050. As part of their agreement, Oldendorff Carriers asked MIT to conduct a study on the long-term stability and degradation of a B20 advanced biofuel blend. Oldendorff would like to share the results of the study with the shipping community to help progress the path toward decarbonization.

One of the alternative energy sources that Oldendorff Carriers has been testing on our ships is the use of second-generation advanced biofuels. Biofuels offer a drop-in fuel option, reducing GHG emissions from a life-cycle perspective (as shown by a previous Oldendorff-MIT study) https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2022/se/d1se01495a. However, they are more prone to oxidative degradation due to the presence of unsaturated fatty acids, which are inherent in the vegetable oils and animal fats from which they are derived. Therefore, there are concerns about the stability and degradation of biofuel blends with conventional marine fuels over time when stored in vessels’ bunker tanks.

For those interested in the findings of the study, the following information explains the study procedures and conclusions.

Pat presenting@AIChe 1

Dr. Patricia Stathatou, the lead of the biofuel degradation study, was a Research Scientist at the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms when the project started in April 2022. She has recently moved to the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she is a Research Faculty at the Renewable Bioproducts Institute. Patricia is also still affiliated with the MIT, Center for Bits and Atoms.

In January 2022, our vessel, Edwine Oldendorff, bunkered with an advanced B20 biofuel, consisting of a 20% bio-oil derived from used cooking oil, blended with very low sulphur fuel. Furthermore, there is a limited body of research on the degradation of biofuel blends, with existing studies primarily focusing on first-generation biofuels (derived from food-crops) and/or distillate biofuel blends rather than advanced residual biofuel blends, as in our case.

A biofuel blend is more complex than a homogenous product. Our study was comprehensive, monitoring eight chemical parameters over an extended one-year period, under a variety of storage conditions. Unlike similar studies in the literature that only focus on just a couple of these parameters, we investigated the impacts of various storage conditions on various parameters. The results of our study will be valuable for both biofuel producers and users, assisting them in planning their bunker storage and maintenance systems accordingly over time.

We analysed 15 samples of the B20 biofuel blend (Intertek, UK). The 15 samples (volume per sample: 1 L), were divided into three storage groups. Each group was stored at different temperatures, i.e., 3 oC inside a refrigerator, 23 oC at ambient lab conditions, and 50 oC inside an incubator. Within each group, there were 5 samples stored in identical containers: sealed steel container, open steel container, open steel container with 5% water added, sealed steel container with 5% water added, and transparent sealed glass bottles. These storage conditions were selected to closely replicate typical onboard fuel storage conditions. We investigated the impact of storage temperature, air, light, and water on the fuel quality over time.

The 8 chemical parameters that we tested were acid value, microbial contamination, total sediment potential, water and sediment, peroxide value, density, viscosity, and oxidation onset temperature. The biofuel blend did not contain any biocide or antioxidant, allowing us to assess its natural degradation over time. Acid value and microbial contamination were tested monthly, while the remaining parameters were tested quarterly from May 2022 to April 2023.

After a thorough analysis, fuel degradation was observed:

  • Low levels (<10 CFU/ mL)1 of microbial contamination (MBC) were observed after the first month of storage in almost all samples, irrespective of storage conditions. MBC increased over time, reaching almost 50 CFU/mL in samples exposed to light. FAME content in biofuels encourages microbial growth as microorganisms biodegrade natural fats and oils. MBC can lead to operational problems, including fouling of tanks, pipes and filters, tank corrosion, and fuel injection equipment damage. Conclusion: biocide addition is highly recommended to preserve blended biofuel for an extended period.
  • Oxidative degradation, began from M3-M6 onward, as indicated by a significant increase in peroxide values, a slight increase in acid value, and a slight decrease in oxidation onset temperature. Addition of antioxidants is recommended together with regular monitoring of fuel quality for long-term onboard storage, especially with higher biofuel blends.
  • No sediment was generated after thermal ageing and there was no observed sediment formation or water increase over time.
  • Although exposure to air, water & light contributed significantly to fuel degradation, the impact of storage temperature on degradation remains unclear.

Patricia presented these findings on November 6, 2023 at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChe) Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL, during the session titled “Advances in Biofuels Production and Alternative Fuels I”, which focused on advanced biofuels and alternative fuels for decarbonizing aviation and maritime industries. Her presentation was titled “Assessing the long-term stability & degradation of an advanced marine biofuel blend”.

Photo credit: Oldendorff Carriers
Published: 8 November, 2023

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Biofuel

VARO and Orim Energy to supply bio bunker fuels in ARA region

VARO will source, produce and blend various waste and advanced bio feedstocks to high quality bunker fuel specs; Orim will source fuel and gas oils for blending and deliver final biofuel blends to vessels.

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VARO and Orim Energy to supply bio bunker fuels in ARA region

VARO Energy (VARO) on Wednesday (21 February) said it is partnering with Orim Energy (Orim) to provide shipping customers in the Port of Rotterdam – and wider Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region - with biofuels. 

The agreement supports the decarbonisation of maritime transportation and inland shipping in Northern Europe. It also contributes to the wider targets set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce the total annual GHG emissions from shipping by at least 20% by 2030 and at least 70% by 2050, compared with 2008 levels.

Current demand for Fuel Oil in ARA , Europe’s largest bunkering hub, is approximately 14 million tonnes per year. Supported by new EU regulations, the market for B30, a blend of 70% Fuel Oil and 30% biofuels, is expected to grow rapidly to the end of the decade. As a result of this joint initiative, VARO and Orim will be well positioned to meet this increased demand and support the decarbonisation plans of their shipping customers.

VARO’s biofuels trading capabilities and growing biofuel manufacturing asset base will complement Orim’s extensive distribution, storage and bunkering capabilities in ARA. Under the agreement, VARO will source, produce and blend various waste and advanced bio feedstocks to high quality bunker specifications. Orim will source the fuel and gas oils for blending and deliver the final biofuel blends to customers’ vessels.

VARO has a long track record of providing biofuels for maritime logistics. Since 2018, the company has supplied the Port of Rotterdam with HVO100 (100% Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil “HVO”) for use with the Port’s service fleet. In 2023 VARO signed an agreement with Höegh Autoliners to supply the company with 100% advanced biofuels for its shipping fleet.

The partnership is aligned with VARO’s strategy to become the partner of choice for customers in the energy transition by providing them with the low-carbon energy solutions they need to decarbonise.

Dev Sanyal, CEO of VARO, said: “Meeting rising demand for blended biofuels is critical to achieving the EU and IMO’s decarbonisation targets for shipping. Our experience in biofuels, combined with Orim’s logistics and bunkering operations, will help meet this demand at Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port facility. I am delighted to be entering into a strategic partnership with Orim and to further build on VARO’s long-established presence in Rotterdam. This is another step in our journey to enable the decarbonisation of the maritime sector.

Edwin Coppens, Managing Director of Orim, said: “Upcoming EU and IMO regulations drive the need to scale up with biofuels and ensure quality assurance going forward. Partnering with VARO allows us to do just that, using each other’s strengths to optimize our blending expertise and network. We will benefit from VARO’s extensive experience with biofuels, which includes joint testing with leading ship engine suppliers. Together, we can increase our sourcing and supply capabilities, extending our reach and further strengthening our position in the ARA region.”

 

Photo credit: VARO Energy
Published: 23 February, 2024

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Singapore: Vitol Bunkers takes delivery of specialised biofuel bunker barge “Marine Future”

New vessel will uniquely make it possible to supply biofuel blends including B24, B30 and up to B100; can also be re-configured in future to supply methanol bunker fuel.

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Singapore: Vitol Bunkers takes delivery of specialised biofuel bunker barge “Marine Future”

Singapore-based marine fuel supplier Vitol Bunkers on Thursday (22 February) said it has taken delivery of the Marine Future, its first specialised bunker barge in Singapore, strengthening its position in Asia’s expanding biofuel bunker market.

The addition of this specialised IMO type 2 notation bunker tanker to the V-Bunkers fleet will uniquely make it possible to supply biofuel blends including B24, B30 and up to B100, depending on customer specifications.

Built in China, Marine Future is 102.6m in length and has the capacity to carry about 7,000 MT of biofuels.

“The current fleet of bunker tankers in Singapore are classified as ‘oil tankers’ and are therefore restricted to a maximum of 25% bio component in biofuel blends. This new bunker tanker has no such restriction, hence can deliver bunker fuels consisting of 100% bio component (B100),” the firm said in a statement.

“Biofuels are a key pathway for the hard-to-abate shipping sector to mitigate emissions. Biofuel sales in Singapore reached 520,000 tonnes in 2023 according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), representing a material increase on the prior year where volumes were 140,000 tonnes.”

“We are delighted to now be able to offer our maritime customers the option to take up to 100% bio component bunker fuel here in Singapore and play our part in advancing the port’s decarbonisation efforts. Should there be demand, this vessel can also be re-configured in future to supply methanol” said Mike Muller, head of Vitol Asia.

Related: Vitol targets Singapore for Asia biofuel growth with bunker barges arrival in 2024
Related: Vitol chooses ZeroNorth e-BDN solution in Singapore

 

Photo credit: Vitol
Published: 22 February, 2024

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Biofuel

PRIO delivers its first bunker fuel supply of B20 in Aveiro Port, Portugal

Firm supplied 50 tonnes of B20, an advanced biofuel blend that combines 20% renewable energy with high-quality marine diesel, to Schulte & Bruns Nederland’s cargo ship “FWN SUN”.

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PRIO delivers its first bunker fuel supply of B20 in Aveiro Port, Portugal

PRIO, a producer of biofuels from residual raw materials in Europe, on Friday (16 February) said it delivered the first supply of ECO Bunkers B20 via a truck-to-ship operation in Aveiro Port. 

The firm supplied 50 tonnes of B20 to Schulte & Bruns Nederland BV's cargo ship FWN SUN resulting in a reduction of 40 tonnes of CO2 and a reduction of up to 87.8% in greenhouse gases, compared to traditional fossil fuels.

“This initiative not only promotes more sustainable shipping, but also demonstrates the joint commitment to sustainability,” the firm said in a social media post. 

Telmo Ferreira, who is responsible for PRIO's Emerging Business and Shipping, highlighted that the increase in demand for quality and environmentally friendly marine fuels motivated the company to develop ECO Bunkers.

According to the firm, ECO Bunkers is an advanced biofuel blend that combines 20% renewable energy with high-quality marine diesel, offering a sustainable solution to the needs of the sector.

 

Photo credit: PRIO
Published: 19 February, 2024

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