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CTI-Maritec says it has tested ‘quite a number of biodiesel blends in residual marine fuel’, typically ranging from B20 to B30, since it began offering the service in early 2022 – and has provided guidance to shipowners and operators when purchasing the fuels.

The fuel testing specialist said that in addition to the ISO 8217 parameters, it is highly recommended that biodiesel blends shall also be measured for FAME (fatty acid methyl esters) content and lower calorific value (or net heat of combustion).

‘Biodiesel blends have lower energy content when compared to conventional fossil fuels and the calculated net specific energy commonly used for fossil fuels may not apply to biodiesel blends,’ CTI-Maritec said. ‘In order to plan for the consumption of biodiesel blend for a voyage and to determine the engine’s performance accurately, lower calorific value (or net heat of combustion) shall be measured.’

CTI-Maritec added: ‘When ordering biodiesel blends, the FAME content is agreed between buyer and seller, therefore it is important to measure the FAME content in order to ensure that the correct FAME content is received as per the biodiesel blend transaction.’

CTI-Maritec noted that the use of marine fuel containing FAME onboard ship could pose some operational issues such as microbial growth; oxidative stability and long-term storage stability; as well as low temperature operation and corrosion.

Accordingly, CTI-Maritec has advised vessel owners to pre-emptively order optional analysis when routine ISO 8217 analysis indicates elevated values for some critical parameters as summarised below:

CTI Maritec biodiesel

CTI-Maritec said it expects to receive more biodiesel blends for analysis in the near future ‘as more vessel owners will switch to biodiesel blends in order to comply with the regulatory requirements on reduction of GHG emissions especially reduction of carbon intensity from international shipping.’

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