Maintaining correct fuel properties
Today’s new fuels differ greatly from traditional HFO – and from each other. That makes it important to handle them properly, from keeping them at the right temperature to keeping them from mixing.
The right fuel temperature is key
Delivering fuel to the separators at the right temperature has always been important. But new fuels are often more paraffinic and have a higher pour point. If the fuels become too cool, the paraffin content can precipitate as wax, which can clog both separators and filters. Once this happens, returning the fuel to fluid form is difficult.
This makes it vital to keep the fuel temperature above the pour point at all times. Retrofitting your fuel line with an Alfa Laval HEATPAC® system can ensure that it stays in the proper range.
Alfa Laval HEATPAC® EHS-71
The Alfa Laval HEATPAC EHS-71 is an automatic electric system for heating mineral oil in tanks or before separation. Its instant-response temperature control has an accuracy of ±1°C.
Keep your fuels segregated
Precipitation in fuel can occur for other reasons than temperature. The mixing of fuels with different characteristics, such as paraffinic fuels with aromatic fuels containing asphaltenes, can lead to sludge in your fuel line. The risks are especially high when using blended fuels, whose characteristics may not be as clearly defined.
The best way to avoid sludge precipitation is to keep different fuels segregated in their own tanks, and to only perform changeover between fuels whose compatibility has been tested and verified.
Alfa Laval FlowSync
If you experience wax or sludge precipitation in your separator, you should first investigate heating or incompatibility issues earlier in the fuel line. However, small amounts of precipitation may be possible to remove by increasing discharge intervals and using Alfa Laval FlowSync to reduce the separator feed. Using FlowSync increases the fuel’s time in the separator bowl, which enhances the removal of particles – especially cat fines, but also wax and sludge.