Oshima Shipbuilding develops new ecofuel

Japanese shipyard Oshima Shipbuilding is developing a new fuel, which it claims will meet all upcoming air emission regulations.

Called Super Eco Fuel, this new fuel type is produced by mixing LCO (lightcycle oil, a secondary refinery product) with GTL (gas-to-liquid, a liquid fuel made from natural gas) and water. The result is a fuel that requires no installation of new equipment while meeting the most stringent NOX and SOX requirements.

LCO has a low sulphur content but poor ignition performance. On the other hand, GTL contains almost no sulphur or other impurities, features high ignition performance and a complete combustion process. When mixed in the right quantities the result is a fuel that meets the 2020 0.5% global sulphur cap. As a second step, adding water and adjusting the fuel mix results in a fuel that satisfies both the 0.1% ECA sulphur limit and is NOX Tier III-compliant. In addition, the specific fuel oil consumption is slightly lower. CO2 emissions and soot formation are reduced as well. LCO and GTL can be stored separately in the normal fuel tanks. In addition, the fuel can be used in existing engines without modifications, making it relevant for retrofitting to existing ships. The fuel is mixed on board by a mixing unit.

Preliminary tests of the fuel characteristics, engine performance and reliability have yielded satisfactory results. Further tests are planned.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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