Thumbnail
PATRICK BRUNELLE
HEAD OF RDI & QUALITY
Quadrise Fuels International plc

Should an MSAR® spill occur in the ocean, the fuel self-disperses readily in the body of water.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITIES

Positive Macro-environment for MSAR® (IMO2020)

 

The oil and transport industry is preparing for a dramatic shift in MARPOL global marine fuel sulphur limits, which are to be reduced from 3.50% to 0.50% coming into effect 1st January 2020.

The global debate continues as to whether there will be sufficient compatible low sulphur, distillate fuels available to meet this potential future marine fuel demand.

graph

Furthermore, refinery owners are questioning whether to invest in the necessary upgrading equipment, especially as the financial returns for these billion-dollar investments are uncertain and the overall environmental impact (including increased CO2 emissions according to Concawe) may be worse from cradle to grave when compared with the status quo of using high sulphur fuel oil plus exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) on vessels.

number of confirmed scrubber system installations grpah

The resulting price spread between HFO and Gas Oil (GO) widens significantly from 2019, as a result of IMO's 0.5%S emissions regulations coming into effect in 2020. This is hugely positive for the MSAR® fuel solution because the downgrade of distillates to the conventional fuel oil pool is amplified resulting in cheaper residue for blending to MSAR® and hence a higher refinery profit margin to split between the refiner, end-user and Quadrise to repay any investments in under 12 months.

MSAR® conversion, therefore, provides for "affordable compliance", as fuel savings can be used to subsidise the upgrading of existing assets including new EGCS where required to improve environmental performance.

graph

Thumbnail
PATRICK BRUNELLE
HEAD OF RDI & QUALITY
Quadrise Fuels International plc

Should an MSAR® spill occur in the ocean, the fuel self-disperses readily in the body of water.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITIES

Mitigating environmental impact with MSAR®

 

Manufacture & Transportation

Energy Savings: MSAR® fuel can be stored and transported at ambient temperatures of 20-30°C, compared with fuel oil that requires heating to in excess of 50°C. As a result, the energy requirements for handling and transporting MSAR® are lower than fuel oil.

Reduced Toxicity: The toxicity of MSAR® is largely a function of the refinery residue or heavy crude oil feedstock, which is generally lower than fuel oils that contain lighter toxic hydrocarbons.

Recycled Water: Water for the emulsification process can be derived from a number of sources including standard utility water, desalinated water, oil-contaminated waste water or sour water stripping streams that are conventionally sent to water treatment, or disposal.

Fewer Environmental Risks: Operations procedures and contingency plans developed for fuel oil are generally suitable, and where necessary adapted, for MSAR® purposes. In terms of accidental spillages, MSAR® poses similar or fewer environmental risks to those of fuel oil, of which some 450 million tonnes is handled annually, and precautions against spillage are similar. Crude and fuel oil spills at sea tend to float to the water surface to form suffocating oil slicks, after which chemicals are typically applied retrospectively to disperse the slick. Should an MSAR® spill occur in the ocean, the fuel self-disperses readily in the body of water, due to the presence of surfactants and micron-sized hydrocarbon droplets.

Production of MSAR® does not result in any change to the refinery’s emissions unless consumed internally to reduce NOx and PM emissions.

Complete Combustion

The emulsification of hydrocarbons is especially beneficial when burning heavier asphaltenic residual fuels with more challenging combustion characteristics.

The MSAR® process results in a 'pre-atomised' fuel, the micron particle size of which (at 5-10µm) is much smaller than possible through conventional oil or water-in-oil emulsion systems. MSAR® fuel droplets have orders of magnitude higher surface area available for rapid and complete combustion. MSAR® fuel can, as a result, be combusted at lower pre-heat temperatures (~60°C) when compared with fuel oil combustion (typically 120-160°C), further reducing energy consumption.

diagram flame

Reduced NOx

As MSAR® fuel is extremely stable, it can be distributed optimally in the combustion zone. Water in the fuel immediately evaporates, causing secondary atomisation and distribution. This water also reduces combustion temperatures, typically reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by over 20% and in some cases up to 50%.

Reduced Particulate Matter

MSAR® will burn down to the fuel ash, with virtually no black soot remaining. This makes the production of particulate matter insensitive to combustion air levels, thereby offering the opportunity to reduce excess air and further enhance efficiency. The inorganic nature of any residual ash enhances its suitability for recovery of valuable metal constituents.

Emissions of carbon dioxide and sulphur oxides are largely a function of the hydrocarbon used to manufacture MSAR® and generally comparable with conventional fuel oil.

EGCS (“Scrubber”) Compatible

Modern combustion and emissions abatement technologies are today increasingly installed in industrial facilities to reduce the impact of emissions to the environment and human health. MSAR® fuel is fully compliant with such technologies and has favourable features that reduce some of the environmental impacts from combustion including NOx, PM/soot and ash.