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  • 2022 November 3 12:55

    Quality of Russia’s VLSFO is superior to worldwide average

    Fuel offered in Russian ports features lower average sulphur content as compared with average global content

    The quality of Russia’s low-sulphur fuel, VLSFO, is superior to the worldwide average, Mikhail Yershov, associate professor at the National University of Oil and Gas named after I.M.Gubkin (Gubkin University) said at the 6th LNG Fleet, LNG Bunkering and Alternatives conference held by PortNews Media Group in Moscow. According to the speaker, fuel offered in Russian ports is ligher in terms of their viscosity/density characteristics – average viscosity is 30-40 cSt.

    The key component of the mix is hydroprocessed vacuum gasoil since there are no facilities for upgrading of residual fractions in the Russian Federation. Apart from vacuum gasoil, the mix also includes low sulphur straight run, diesel oil fractions and cracked gasoil (mostly light).

    Besides, fuel offered in Russian ports features lower average sulphur content – 30% of compositions can contain less than 0.46% of sulphur (average global content - 10%).

    When speaking about alternative fuels, the expert emphasized that all of them have certain disadvantages. LNG is most criticized for its carbon level which is not low enough, for the risk of methane leaks and for a potential hindering of development of less carbon-intensive alternatives.

    Among the disadvantages of methanol is its low viscosity, volumetric energy density, low flammability and high toxicity. However, compatibility with the infrastructure, a long period of storage and an opportunity to achieve 100-pct reduction of emissions contribute to the prospects of methanol.

    Factors restricting application of biofuel are its high price per unit of energy, limited availability of raw materials, lack of industrial technologies for upgrading. However, a combination of factors (raw materials, quality and production cost) makes the production of marine fuel components through processing of lignocellulosic and other residue the most promising activity. Gubkin University is currently developing a marine biofuel and a technology for its production.

    Extremely high toxicity is the key disadvantage of ammonia which is especially hazardous for aquatic wildlife as it is unlimitedly soluble in water. Another disadvantage is enormous NOx emissions during combustion. Besides, the problem of using ammonia for 4-stroke engines has not been solved yet – so far it is applicable only for two-stroke power units.




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