The Impact of Regulation on Cylinder Oil Lubricant Selection (Part II)

Friday, 27/08/2021, 09:19 GMT+7


In Part I, we have already had an overall look towards regulations, legislations of Global Sulphur Cap, Emission Control Areas, Fuel Sulphur Content and Sulphur Oxides (SOx) Emissions, Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Emissions.

In Part II, we are going to have a deep look at how the impact of those regulations and legislation on cylinder oil lubricant selection.

3.1 Options for SOx Emission Reduction
There are four main SOx emission reduction strategies to ensure regulatory compliance is achieved:

1. Use a fuel that has a sulphur content less than 3.5%, 0.5% or 0.1% dependent on regulatory jurisdictions the ship will sail within.
2. Install an exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS) also known as a scrubber. This would allow for the continued use of residual marine fuel of any sulphur content.
3. Switch between fuels of different sulphur content when entering and leaving enforcement zones.
4. Use dual-fuel engines in LNG operational mode.

Strategy 1: Choosing the Type of Fuel for Compliance
Different fuel types exist that achieve different levels of regulatory compliance.

Higher sulphur content fuels are less expensive but may require additional treatment of the exhaust gas through abatement technologies to enable the ship to comply with the regulation applicable in the area of sailing. With lower sulphur content fuels, although more expensive, such abatement technologies are not necessarily required to meet the same regulation.

Heavy Fuel Oil (up to 3.5% sulphur)
Heavy fuel oil (HFO) contains up to 3.5% sulphur and is a high viscosity fuel that requires preheating to enable injection into marine engines.

Due to its low cost it is widely used. When sailing in ECAs, HFO may only be used in combination with emissions abatement technology to achieve the required compliance.

Distillate/HFO Blends (can be used for 0.5% sulphur regulations)
Either distillates or blended fuels comprising of middle distillate fuel and HFO to a combined sulphur content of up to 0.5% are an option for compliance in certain regions.

This will also be important in 2020 or 2025 when the global sulphur cap reduces to 0.5%.

Distillate Fuel and Marine Gas Oil (with a sulphur content of up to 0.1%)
Both distillate and certain specially developed marine fuels with up to 0.1% sulphur content, but similar characteristics to traditional HFO, can be used for compliance in ECAs.


Strategy 2: Install Exhaust Gas Cleaning (Scrubber) Technology
The installation of a marine scrubber negates the need to use fuels of lower sulphur content.

As stipulated by MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 12, for the continued use of HFO, the exhaust gas cleaning technology must be capable of reducing the ship’s exhaust gas emissions to an equivalent SOx level of that produced by fuels stipulated by the global sulphur cap and, if operating within a SOx ECA, the sulphur limit within the ECA must be achieved.

Strategy 3: Carry out Fuel Switching
In order to take advantage of the price differential between higher and lower sulphur content fuels, it is common to only utilise fuel of either below 0.5% or 0.1% sulphur content when required. HFO with a maximum of 3.5% fuel sulphur content is typically utilised outside of these requirements.

Strategy 4: Use a Dual-Fuel Engine
Dual Fuel engines enable ships to operate either on conventional marine fuels or LNG.

Compliance with sulphur regulations can be achieved by switching to LNG fuel when operating within emissions restricted regions.


3.2 Options for NOx Emission Reduction
Today, engines are built with integrated technology that enables them to achieve the IMO’s Tier I NOx standards without additional technology or modifications.

In order to meet Tier II, internal engine modifications such as the Miller Cycle in four-stroke engines, Changes to engine timing and peak pressures through the use of electronic control of exhaust valves and fuel injection in two-stroke engines can be used.

Ships built on or after January 1, 2011 tend to have these technologies integrated during engine construction and therefore do not require further modification for Tier II compliance.

Compliance with NOx Tier III regulations cannot be achieved by engine modification alone but requires additional NOx abatement technologies to be fitted.

The current options available are:
• Dual-Fuel Engines: These engines run on residual or distillate fuel liquid fuel in addition to burning LNG fuel to achieve compliance.
• SCR Technology: Selective catalytic reduction is a post-combustion technology that allows for the continued use of traditional HFO oils as the resultant NOx emissions are treated by the SCR system.
• EGR Technology: New generation engines that use exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology operate by introducing exhaust gas into the combustion chamber, which displaces oxygen and lowers the temperature of combustion in order to reduce the formation of NOx.



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