FuelSpec® is a patented and proprietary Iron-Magnesium organo metallic compound that is registered with the United States EPA. The product is launched in India as a combustion catalyst that works across a range of fuels – from distillate to residual hydrocarbon fuels. Jithendra Nimmagadda, CEO, Maritime at Vishwa Samudra Holdings in an exclusive interview with Future Fuels, speaks about the FuelSpec®, its efficiency and other benefits.
Q. Please tell us about FuelSpec® product is and how it enhances fuel efficiency?
FuelSpec® is a broad-spectrum combustion catalyst that works across a range of fuels – from distillate to residual hydrocarbon fuels. This catalyst when added to the fuels in a ratio of 1:4000, it enhances fuel efficiency & reduces emissions.
During the process of fuel combustion in engines, a part of the fuel is left unburnt and comes out as particulate matter. The working principle of FuelSpec® is to reduce such unburnt portion of the fuel leading to much more complete combustion of the fuel and thereby increasing the fuel efficiency leading to reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions.
Q. What is the composition of FuelSpec®?
FuelSpec® is patented and proprietary Iron-Magnesium organo metallic compound, that is registered with the United States EPA. It has Iron and Magnesium as the main composition. Iron stores energy during the 1st half of combustion phase and releasing the same in 2nd half, leading to burning of heavy hydrocarbons which needs more time to burn. Combustion process multiplies by parallel action as heat transfer from air to iron and magnesium then again from magnesium to iron finally from iron to aromatic hydrocarbons.
Q. What are the benefits of using FuelSpec® in maritime segment?
Usage of FuelSpec has following benefits:
- Reduces fuel consumption by 7% to 8%
- Reduces emissions like SOx, NOx, CO, CO2 & particulate matter varying from 15% to 40%
- Reduces the wear & tear of the engine/equipment and hence reduced O&M cost
Q. Currently, with good revenues carriers focus may not be much on savings. In such scenario what would convince them to use fuel additives for fuel economy?
ll the carriers have posted record profits so far this year and most of them are projected to end at an all-time high revenues/profits in the year 2020. Simultaneously, all the carriers are focusing massively on reducing the emissions and few of them have already declared to become carbon-free by the year 2050. Such a commitment comes with huge challenges when there is no standard or agreed fuel or technology to achieve the same. Some of the projected future fuels are Methane, Ammonia, Blue Hydrogen, etc.
Before an agreement comes up on the usage of which of the above carbon-free fuels can be the standard for shipping, the usage of Fossil fuels will continue to pose a challenge to the carriers and to the environment in general. This is where FuelSpec® comes in play by reducing their current emissions such as CO, NOx, SOx, particulate matter, etc.,
Since fuel contributes to about 50 per cent to 60 per cent of the operational cost of the vessels, even if FuelSpec® can reduce the fuel consumption by 7 per cent, it translates into huge cost savings for the carriers
Q. There are apprehensions about the efficacy of fuel additives. How do you address them?
It is very natural that the customers have apprehensions about any new product which claims to deliver the Twin Advantage of ‘Cost Saving’ & ‘Emission Reduction”. We will work very closely with the customers to jointly conduct field trials to prove the efficacy of the product in their presence and as per agreed SOP. Proof of pudding is in eating. So we would like to showcase the efficacy of the product by such joint demonstrations so that the customers can gain confidence on the FuelSpec®.
Q. Engine safety and warranty are main concerns for many customers when it comes to using any additives? How does FuelSpec® impact engines?
FuelSpec® additive particles are of 10 nm. Such nano size particles doesn’t create any damage to equipment. The metal components of this catalyst are less than 1/5th to 1/10th the EPA recommended maximum limit. Also Magnesium acts as cleaning and lubricating agent. The melting point of these metal additives are very high (>1200 deg) so they don’t melt and stick to the engine.
Moreover, FuelSpec® is tested on various engines and equipment such as:
- Marine vessels – MAN B&W and Wartsila engines
- DGs – Cummins
- Turbines – GE Gas turbines
- Heavy equipment – CAT
Companies like GE & Wartsila have already given a ‘No Objection Certificate’ for usage of FuelSpec® in their engines
Q. How much emissions reduction can be expected by using FuelSpec®?
Estimated emission reduction is as per below table
Estimated Reduction in Emission
|% Reduction Using HFO
|% Reduction Using MGO
|Particulate Master (PM)
|Carbon Monoxide (CO)
|Nitrogen Oxide (NOX)