With the growing use of low sulphur fuels and increased frequency of bunkering, testing the stability of the fuel oil and its compatibility for blending is becoming increasingly important.
Whilst every fuel oil is manufactured to be stable - in that it does not have the tendency to produce asphaltenic sludge - two stable fuel oils are not necessarily compatible when blended or mixed together. A blend is regarded as being stable only if it is homogeneous immediately after preparation, remains so in normal storage and at no time produces or tends to produce sludge on a significant scale. If behaving in this way, the fuels forming the blend can be considered as compatible with each other. Incompatibility is the tendency of a residual fuel oil to produce a deposit on dilution or on blending with other fuel oils and typical incompatibility problems include sludging and blockage of bunker and service tanks, pipe runs, filters and centrifuge bowls. In extreme circumstances the only remedy is manual removal of the sludge build up, which is both time-consuming and extremely costly.
Onboard fuel oil compatibility testing is extremely simple and can take just 20 minutes, providing engineers with crucial information that can confirm that the fuel oil delivery will remain stable in the bunker tanks or identify possible stability problems before blending and mixing two fuel oils. Compatibility fuel oil testing can prevent sludge build up, damage or problems of fuel oil systems and ensure smooth engine operation by ruling out any problems with fuel combustion in advance.
The Oil Compatibility Tester is cheap, easy to use and supplies essential information no Marine engineer responsible for fuels can live without. A small quick test will save you from the consequences of having an incompatible fuel mix in the tanks