Fuel changes & protecting your engine

Fuelcare provide a wealth of treatments & services to marine users. As marine fuels reduce sulphur content, increase biodiesel content & engine emissions technology changes, more fuel treatments are required to preserve high fuel quality.

MARPOL Annex VI aims to reduce emissions by reducing the Sulphur content in marine fuels. As of January 2015, the limit of Sulphur in any marine fuel should be 0.1% by mass (previously 4.5%). The limits only pertain to E.C.A.’s (Emission Control Areas). Outside of E.C.A.’s the limits are currently 3.5% but will be 0.5% by January 2020. It is the engineers’ & captains’ responsibility to ensure fuel taken on board meets these limits and other fuels are not mixed with E.C.A. compliant fuels. Emergency engines are exempt.

Sulphur inhibits microbial growth in fuel. The less Sulphur present, the more likely growth to be seen in coming years. This leads to:

  • Filter blockages (leading to fuel starvation & engine shutdown)
  • Fuel pump failure
  • Tank & line corrosion.
  • Reduced fuel stability leading to further tank sludge and fuel discolouration (long chain hydrocarbons / asphaltenes).
  • Vastly reduced lubricity leading to possibly pump system failure & other issues. Processing to remove Sulphur removes other components with natural lubricity.
  • Combustion efficiency. A reduction in economy.

Due to these changes and effects, fuel treatments are becoming more prevalent in the marine industry; providing protection against common ailments including microbial growth. Marine fuels suffer more issues due to the naturally higher water content found in and around ships and bunker terminals. FuelClear M68 is a fuel biocide designed over 30 years to prevent and cure these issues.

Fuelcare can now provide the Lloyd’s Register approved product, Octamar LI-5 Plus. The first and only fuel additive ever approved as such, providing improvements to previous heavy fuel oil users in the following specification tests:

  • Improvements to Oxidation Stability, (ISO 12205)
  • Thermal Stability, (ASTM D6468)
  • Injector Fouling (CEC F2301)
  • Steel Corrosion (ASTM D665A/B)
  • Fuel Lubricity (HFRR ISO 12156)
  • Filter Blocking Tendency (IP387)

For more information please look at our Octamar pages.

Further information on Marine changes is available below:


Maritime UK


Energy Institute

Lloyds Register

Marine Products