Alternatives to marine fuel oil such as hydrogen and ammonia will place new demands on lubrications systems. In Riviera Maritime Media’s New fuel scenarios and their impact on lubrication webinar, experts discussed the issue
Kline & Company chemicals and energy project manager Kunal Mahajan opened Riviera’s webinar New fuel scenarios and their impact on lubrication by listing the new fuels. He noted that to a large extent LNG is no longer a new fuel and the new fuels are methanol, ammonia and hydrogen. Methanol is being used in a small number of vessels and LPG is now being used in some LPG carriers. The shipping industry is still some years away from powering a vessel using ammonia, but there are a few hydrogen vessels in the experimental stage.
In a poll, delegates were asked: which fuels do you see as the main future fuels for deepsea shipping post 2030? 29% chose VLSFO and 29% picked LNG. Ammonia was the choice for 16%, followed by hydrogen (14%), then ULSFO (5%), biofuel (5%) with 1% HFO and 1% methanol.
Lubrizol technical manager Ian Bown followed this up by recounting the fuel additive manufacturer’s experience from developing additives ahead of the IMO 2020 sulphur cap on marine fuel. The main issue in developing additives ahead of the introduction of VLSFO was there were no fuel samples available. Lubrizol designed its own samples for bench testing. “Some of those bench tests were giving us results that did not correlate with what we saw in the test engine. We had to go back and take a look at those bench tests, and in some cases, modify them,” he said. “Additive and lubricant development costs time, it costs resources and it costs money in terms of investment on equipment and test methods.”
That is the likely scenario when it comes to the development of additives for future fuels, he added.
In a poll, delegates were asked: Which fuels do you see as the main future fuels for deepsea shipping between now and 2030? Nearly half (49%) chose VLSFO, followed by LNG (21%), ULSFO (9%), methanol (6%), ammonia (6%), HSFO (4%), LPG (3%), and hydrogen (2%).
MAN Energy Solutions head of engine subsystems and emission control automation, control development and principal research engineer, fuel and emissions engine process development, Dorthe Jacobsen said, “The role of the lubricant does not change with the change in fuel type. The role of the lubricant is the same. It is how it performs that role that is changing.” That role is to lubricate, reduce friction, add wear protection, neutralise acids and oxidation products. Ms Jacobsen added that with dual-fuel engines it is very important for the additives to keep the engine clean and allow free movement of the piston rings.
In a poll, delegates were asked: What is your main concern re: lubricating two-stroke engines? Half (50%) nominated cleanliness, 46% chose scuffing, with neutralisation last at 4%.
ExxonMobil engineering service manager Filippos Athanassiadis looked at the approach taken post-IMO 2020 sulphur cap, and in particular, the behaviour of lubricants. He noted that initially, very low to 25 BN lubricating oil had been recommended. This required a higher feed rate. “In some cases we noticed 100 BN oils were being trialled,” he said. ExxonMobil discovered deposits had formed on piston rings and liners after a small number of running hours.
In a poll, delegates were asked: Which cylinder lube are you using for two-stroke engines operating on VLSFO today? 72% reported 40 BN, 20% 70 BN and 8% 100 BN.
Projecting that forward to the new fuels, it would seem the new-generation 40 BN lubricating oils would be a starting point. He noted the simple requirements of using lubricating oil in the 1990s and 2000s with the concern about acid neutrlisation long gone, and other factors like scuffing, oxidisation and detergency protection will be the future issues.
In a poll, delegates were asked: Do you expect additive usage for engine oils will remain at the same levels as uptake of future fuels increases? 40% - No, usage will increase up to 10% in 10 years versus current levels as uptake of future fuels increases; 17% - No, usage will increase more than 10% in 10 years versus current levels as uptake of future fuels increases; 17% - Yes, usage will stay at the same levels as uptake of future fuels increases; 9% - No, Usage will decrease at least 10% in 10 years versus current levels as uptake of future fuels increases; 9% - No, usage will decrease more than 10% in 10 years versus current levels as uptake of future fuels increases; 8% - No, no one will use additives in 10 years time.
From left to right: ExxonMobil engineering service manager Filippos Athanassiadis, Lubrizol technical manager Ian Bown, Kline & Company’s chemicals and energy project manager, Kunal Mahajan, MAN Energy Solutions head of engine subsystems, emission control automation and control development, and principal research engineer, fuel and emissions engine process development, Dorthe Jacobsen (source: Riviera)