June 14, 2010 - NYK and its subsidiary Nippon Yuka Kogyo Co. Ltd. (head office: Yokohama; president: Shigeru Kaketani) have jointly developed an additive (Yunic 700LS) for low-sulfur marine gas oil,* which is increasingly being used because it has less of an effect on the environment. By blending this additive into low-sulfur marine gas oils, mechanical troubles in fuel-oil systems, which can result from use of low-sulfur marine gas oils, can be prevented.
As part of the toughening of regulations on air-quality conservation, the European Union (EU) implemented a new regulation limiting to 0.1% the sulfur content of low-sulfur fuel oils used within its respective regulatory area from January 1, 2010. Moreover, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will begin enforcement of its regulation in January 2012.
Low-sulfur marine gas oils are expected to have less impact on the environment because they result in fewer SOx emissions. However, these oils lack sufficient lubricity, and could result in troubles, including abnormal friction and operational defects, to crucial parts of engines, such as fuel-supply pumps and fuel-injection pumps. Therefore, the NYK Group developed an additive to improve the lubricity of low-sulfur marine gas oils to ensure safe vessel operations as well as to preserve the environment.
Blending Yunic 700LS into low-sulfur, low-lubricity marine gas oils was confirmed through an HFRR test,** as well as actual machine tests conducted by fuel-pump makers, to improve lubricity by about 30 percent. In fact, while using the additive in trials on NYK vessels since January, no troubles attributable to low lubricity have been reported.
The NYK Group continues to take initiatives to observe environment protection regulations, and focus on both the safe operation of vessels and environment conservation.
*Marine gas oils
Fuel oils used on vessels—i.e., heavy fuel oil, marine diesel oil, marine gas oil, and the like—are graded by components, and the quality of marine gas oil is rated the highest among these oils.
Fuel oils are tested for lubricating ability using a device called a High Frequency Reciprocating Rig. The HFRR is currently the internationally accepted, standardized method of evaluating fuel oils for lubricating ability. The HFRR uses a ball to which a load is applied, and the ball then reciprocates on a metal surface immersed in the test fuel oil. The size of the scars created on the ball is used to evaluate the lubricating ability of the fuel oil.