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Fuel oil (also known as heavy oil, marine fuel, bunker, furnace oil, or gasoil) is a
fraction A fraction (from Latin ', "broken") represents a part of a whole or, more generally, any number of equal parts. When spoken in everyday English, a fraction describes how many parts of a certain size there are, for example, one-half, eight-fifths ...
obtained from the
distillation Distillation, or classical distillation, is the process of separating the components or substances from a liquid mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, ...

distillation
of
petroleum Petroleum, also known as crude oil and oil, is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isoc ...

petroleum
(crude oil). It includes
distillate Distillation, or classical distillation, is the process of separating the components or substances from a liquid mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, ...
s (the lighter fractions) and residues (the heavier fractions). The term ''fuel oil'' generally includes any
liquid fuel Liquid fuels are combustible or energy-generating molecules that can be harnessed to create mechanical energy In physical sciences Physical science is a branch of natural science that studies abiotic component, non-living systems, in contrast ...
that is burned in a furnace or
boiler A boiler is a closed vessel in which fluid In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order ...

boiler
to generate heat, or used in an
engine An engine or motor is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine that uses Power (physics), power to apply For ...

engine
to generate power. However, it does not usually include other liquid oils, such as those with a
flash point The flash point of a volatile material is the lowest temperature Temperature is a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy, present in all matter, which is the source of the occurrence of he ...
of approximately , or oils burned in cotton- or wool-wick burners. In a stricter sense, ''fuel oil'' refers only to the heaviest commercial fuels that crude oil can yield, that is, those fuels heavier than
gasoline Gasoline () or petrol () (see the etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated word ...

gasoline
(petrol) and
naphtha Naphtha ( or ) is a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture. Mixtures labelled ''naphtha'' have been produced from natural gas condensate Natural-gas condensate, also called natural gas liquids, is a low-density mixture of hydrocarbon In , a ...
. Fuel oil consists of long-chain
hydrocarbon In organic chemistry Organic chemistry is a branch of chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, prop ...
s, particularly
alkane In organic chemistry Organic chemistry is a branch of chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, pr ...
s,
cycloalkane In organic chemistry Organic chemistry is a branch of that studies the structure, properties and reactions of s, which contain in .Clayden, J.; Greeves, N. and Warren, S. (2012) ''Organic Chemistry''. Oxford University Press. pp. 1–15. . Stu ...

cycloalkane
s, and
aromatic In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in ...

aromatic
s. Small molecules, such as those in
propane Propane () is a three-carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a with the C and 6. It is lic and —making four s available to form s. It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Carbon makes up only about 0.025 percent of Earth's ...

propane
, naphtha, gasoline for cars, and
jet fuel Jet fuel or aviation turbine fuel (ATF, also abbreviated avtur) is a type of aviation fuel Aviation fuels are -based s, or petroleum and synthetic fuel blends, used to power . They have more stringent requirements than fuels used for ground use ...
(
kerosene Kerosene, paraffin, or lamp oil is a combustible , Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = G ...

kerosene
), have relatively low
boiling point The boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which the vapor pressure 280px, The ''pistol test tube'' experiment. The tube contains alcohol and is closed with a piece of cork. By heating the alcohol, the vapors fill in the space, inc ...
s, and are removed at the start of the
fractional distillation Fractional distillation is the separation of a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matt ...
process. Heavier petroleum products like
diesel fuel Diesel fuel in general is any liquid fuel Liquid fuels are combustible or energy-generating molecules that can be harnessed to create mechanical energy In physical sciences Physical science is a branch of natural science that studies abi ...
and
lubricating oil A lubricant is a substance that helps to reduce friction between surfaces in mutual contact, which ultimately reduces the heat generated when the surfaces move. It may also have the function of transmitting forces, transporting foreign particles ...
are much less volatile and distill out more slowly, while bunker oil is literally the bottom of the barrel. In oil distilling, the only components denser than bunker fuel are
carbon black Carbon black (subtypes are acetylene black, channel black, furnace black, lamp black and thermal black) is a material produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum Petroleum, also known as crude oil and oil, is a naturally occ ...

carbon black
feedstock and
bituminous Asphalt, also known as bitumen (, ), is a sticky, black, highly viscous The viscosity of a fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress, or external ...

bituminous
residue (
asphalt Asphalt, also known as bitumen (, ), is a sticky, black, highly viscous The viscosity of a fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress, or externa ...

asphalt
), which is used for paving roads and sealing roofs.


Uses

Oil has many uses; it heats homes and businesses and fuels
truck A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle A motor vehicle, also known as motorized vehicle or automotive vehicle, is a self-propelled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include ...

truck
s,
ship A ship is a large watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional propertie ...

ship
s, and some
car A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle Electric bicycles parked in Yangzhou's main street, Wenchang Lu. They are a very common way of transport in this city, in some areas almost outnumbering regular bicycles A motor vehicle, also k ...

car
s. A small amount of
electricity Electricity is the set of physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album), a 1981 album by Olivia Newton-John **Physical (Olivia Newton-John song), "Physi ...

electricity
is produced by diesel, but it is more
polluting
polluting
and more expensive than
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane and commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxid ...

natural gas
. It is often used as a backup fuel for
peaking power plant Peaking power plants, also known as peaker plants, and occasionally just "peakers", are power plantPower Station or The Power Station may refer to: * Power station, a facility for the generation of electricity Music * The Power Station (band), a 1 ...
s in case the supply of natural gas is interrupted or as the main fuel for small
electrical generator In electricity generation Electricity generation is the process of generating electric power from sources of primary energy. For electric utility, utilities in the electric power industry, it is the stage prior to its Electricity delivery, deliv ...
s. In Europe, the use of diesel is generally restricted to cars (about 40%), SUVs (about 90%), and trucks and buses (over 99%). The market for home heating using fuel oil has decreased due to the widespread penetration of
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane and commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxid ...

natural gas
as well as
heat pumps A heat pump is a device used to warm and sometimes also cool buildings by transferring thermal energy Thermal radiation in visible light can be seen on this hot metalwork. Thermal energy refers to several distinct physical concepts, such as the ...
. However, it is very common in some areas, such as the
Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as the American Northeast, the Northeast, and the East Coast) is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), ...
. Residual fuel oil is less useful because it is so
viscous The viscosity of a fluid In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, ...
that it has to be heated with a special heating system before use and it may contain relatively high amounts of
pollutant A pollutant is a substance or energy introduced into the environment that has undesired effects, or adversely affects the usefulness of a resource. A pollutant may cause long- or short-term damage by changing the growth rate of plant or animal s ...
s, particularly
sulfur Sulfur (in nontechnical British English: sulphur) is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: th ...

sulfur
, which forms
sulfur dioxide Sulfur dioxide (IUPAC The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC ) is an international federation of National Adhering OrganizationsNational Adhering Organizations in chemistry are the organizations that work as the autho ...
upon combustion. However, its undesirable properties make it very cheap. In fact, it is the cheapest liquid fuel available. Since it requires heating before use, residual fuel oil cannot be used in road vehicles,
boat A boat is a watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It m ...

boat
s or small ships, as the heating equipment takes up valuable space and makes the vehicle heavier. Heating the oil is also a delicate procedure, which is impractical on small, fast moving vehicles. However,
power plant A power station, also referred to as a power plant and sometimes generating station or generating plant, is an industrial facility for the generation A generation is "all of the people born and living Living or The Living may refer to: ...

power plant
s and large ships are able to use residual fuel oil. Use of residual fuel oil was more common in the past. It powered
boiler A boiler is a closed vessel in which fluid In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order ...

boiler
s,
railroad Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional p ...

railroad
steam locomotive A steam locomotive is a railway locomotive, rail vehicle that provides the Tractive force#Rail vehicles, force to move itself and other vehicles by means of the expansion of steam. It is fuelled by burning combustible material (usually coal, ...

steam locomotive
s, and
steamship A steamship, often referred to as a steamer, is a type of steam-powered vessel Steam-powered vessels include steamboats and steamships. Smaller steamboats were developed first. They were replaced by larger steamships which were often ocean-going. ...

steamship
s. Locomotives, however, have become powered by diesel or electric power; steamships are not as common as they were previously due to their higher operating costs (most
LNG carrier An LNG carrier is a tank ship designed for transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG). As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth. History The first LNG carrier ''Methane Pioneer'' (), cl ...
s use steam plants, as "boil-off" gas emitted from the cargo can be used as a fuel source); and most boilers now use
heating oil Heating oil is any petroleum product Petroleum products are materials derived from crude oil (petroleum Petroleum (), also known as crude oil and oil, is a #Latent heat of vaporization, naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found ...
or natural gas. Some industrial boilers still use it and so do some old buildings, including in
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
. In 2011 New York City estimated that the 1% of its buildings that burned fuel oils No. 4 and No. 6 were responsible for 86% of the
soot Soot ( ) is a mass of impure Carbonaceous, carbon particles resulting from the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons. It is more properly restricted to the product of the gas-phase combustion process but is commonly extended to include the resi ...
pollution generated by all buildings in the city. New York made the phase out of these fuel grades part of its environmental plan, PlaNYC, because of concerns for the health effects caused by fine particulates, and all buildings using fuel oil No. 6 had been converted to less polluting fuel by the end of 2015. Residual fuel's use in electrical generation has also decreased. In 1973, residual fuel oil produced 16.8% of the electricity in the US. By 1983, it had fallen to 6.2%, and , electricity production from all forms of petroleum, including diesel and residual fuel, is only 3% of total production. The decline is the result of price competition with natural gas and environmental restrictions on emissions. For power plants, the costs of heating the oil, extra pollution control and additional maintenance required after burning it often outweigh the low cost of the fuel. Burning fuel oil, particularly residual fuel oil, produces uniformly higher
carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide (chemical formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of s that constitute a particular or molecule, using symbols, numbers, and sometimes also other symbols, such as pare ...

carbon dioxide
emissions than natural gas. Heavy fuel oils continue to be used in the boiler "lighting up" facility in many coal-fired power plants. This use is approximately analogous to using kindling to start a fire. Without performing this act it is difficult to begin the large-scale combustion process. The chief drawback to residual fuel oil is its high initial viscosity, particularly in the case of No. 6 oil, which requires a correctly engineered system for storage, pumping, and burning. Though it is still usually lighter than water (with a specific gravity usually ranging from 0.95 to 1.03) it is much heavier and more viscous than No. 2 oil, kerosene, or gasoline. No. 6 oil must, in fact, be stored at around heated to before it can be easily pumped, and in cooler temperatures it can congeal into a tarry semisolid. The flash point of most blends of No. 6 oil is, incidentally, about . Attempting to pump high-viscosity oil at low temperatures was a frequent cause of damage to fuel lines, furnaces, and related equipment which were often designed for lighter fuels. For comparison, BS 2869 Class G heavy fuel oil behaves in similar fashion, requiring storage at , pumping at around and finalizing for burning at around . Most of the facilities which historically burned No. 6 or other residual oils were industrial plants and similar facilities constructed in the early or mid 20th century, or which had switched from coal to oil fuel during the same time period. In either case, residual oil was seen as a good prospect because it was cheap and readily available. Most of these facilities have subsequently been closed and demolished, or have replaced their fuel supplies with a simpler one such as gas or No. 2 oil. The high sulfur content of No. 6 oil—up to 3% by weight in some extreme cases—had a corrosive effect on many heating systems (which were usually designed without adequate corrosion protection in mind), shortening their lifespans and increasing the polluting effects. This was particularly the case in furnaces that were regularly shut down and allowed to go cold, because the internal condensation produced
sulfuric acid Sulfuric acid (American spelling Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English orthography English orthogra ...

sulfuric acid
. Environmental cleanups at such facilities are frequently complicated by the use of
asbestos Asbestos (pronounced: or ) is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral Silicate minerals are rock-forming mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fair ...
insulation on the fuel feed lines. No. 6 oil is very persistent, and does not degrade rapidly. Its viscosity and stickiness also make remediation of underground contamination very difficult, since these properties reduce the effectiveness of methods such as
air stripping 250px, Figure 1. An air stripper Air stripping is the transferring of Volatility (chemistry), volatile components of a liquid into an air stream. It is an environmental engineering technology used for the purification of groundwaters and wastewate ...
. When released into water, such as a river or ocean, residual oil tends to break up into patches or torballs – mixtures of oil and particulate matter such as silt and floating organic matter – rather than form a single slick. An average of about 5-10% of the material will evaporate within hours of the release, primarily the lighter hydrocarbon fractions. The remainder will then often sink to the bottom of the water column.


Health impacts

Because of the low quality of bunker fuel, when burnt it is especially harmful to the health of humans, causing serious illnesses and deaths. Prior to the IMO's 2020 sulfur cap, shipping industry air pollution caused around 400,000 premature deaths each year, from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as 14 million childhood asthma cases each year. Even after the introduction of cleaner fuel rules in 2020, shipping air pollution is still estimated to account for around 250,000 deaths each year, and around 6.4 million childhood asthma cases each year. The hardest hit countries by air pollution from ships are China, Japan, the UK, Indonesia, and Germany. In 2015, shipping air pollution killed an estimated 20,520 people in China, 4,019 people in Japan, and 3,192 people in the UK. According to an ICCT study, countries located on major shipping lanes are particularly exposed, and can see shipping account for a high percentage of overall deaths from transport sector air pollution. In Taiwan, shipping accounts for 70% of all transport-attributable air pollution deaths in 2015, followed by Morocco at 51%, Malaysia and Japan both at 41%, Vietnam at 39%, and the UK at 38%. As well as commercial shipping, cruise ships also emit large amounts of air pollution, damaging people's health. The ships of the single largest cruise company,
Carnival Corporation & plc Carnival Corporation & plc is a British-American cruise operator, currently the world's largest travel leisure company, with a combined fleet of over 100 vessels across 10 cruise line A cruise line is a company (law), company that operates cruis ...
, emit ten times more sulfur dioxide than all of Europe's cars combined.


General classification


United States

Although the following trends generally hold true, different organizations may have different numerical specifications for the six fuel grades. The boiling point and
carbon chain In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, ...
length of the fuel increases with fuel oil number.
Viscosity The viscosity of a fluid In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, ...

Viscosity
also increases with number, and the heaviest oil must be heated for it to flow. Price usually decreases as the fuel number increases.Kent, James A. ''Riegel's Handbook of Industrial Chemistry'' (1983) Van Nostrand Reinhold Company pp.492-493 Number 1 fuel oil, also known as diesel no. 1,
kerosene Kerosene, paraffin, or lamp oil is a combustible , Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = G ...

kerosene
, and
jet fuel Jet fuel or aviation turbine fuel (ATF, also abbreviated avtur) is a type of aviation fuel Aviation fuels are -based s, or petroleum and synthetic fuel blends, used to power . They have more stringent requirements than fuels used for ground use ...
, is a volatile distillate oil intended for vaporizing pot-type burners and high-performance/clean diesel engines.Perry, Robert H., Chilton, Cecil H. and Kirkpatrick, Sidney D. ''Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook'' 4th edition (1963) McGraw Hill p.9-6 It is the
kerosene Kerosene, paraffin, or lamp oil is a combustible , Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = G ...

kerosene
refinery cut that boils off immediately after the heavy naphtha cut used for
gasoline Gasoline () or petrol () (see the etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated word ...

gasoline
. Former names include: coal oil, stove oil, and range oil. Number 2 fuel oil is a distillate home
heating oil Heating oil is any petroleum product Petroleum products are materials derived from crude oil (petroleum Petroleum (), also known as crude oil and oil, is a #Latent heat of vaporization, naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found ...
. Trucks and some cars use similar diesel no. 2 with a
cetane number Cetane number (cetane rating) is an indicator of the combustion Combustion, or burning, is a high-temperature exothermic In thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, Work (thermodynamics), work, and tempe ...
limit describing the ignition quality of the fuel. Both are typically obtained from the light gas oil cut. The name ''gasoil'' refers to the original use of this fraction in the late 19th and early 20th centuries—the gas oil cut was used as an enriching agent for carbureted water gas
manufacture Manufacturing is the production of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Co ...
. Number 3 fuel oil was a distillate oil for burners requiring low-viscosity fuel. ASTM merged this grade into the number 2 specification, and the term has been rarely used since the mid-20th century. Number 4 fuel oil, also known as Bunker A, is a commercial heating oil for burner installations not equipped with preheaters. It may be obtained from the heavy gas oil cut. Number 5 fuel oil is a residual-type industrial heating oil requiring preheating to for proper atomization at the burners. This fuel is sometimes known as Bunker B. It may be obtained from the heavy gas oil cut, or it may be a blend of residual oil with enough number 2 oil to adjust viscosity until it can be pumped without preheating. Number 6 fuel oil is a high-viscosity residual oil requiring preheating to . Residual means the material remaining after the more valuable cuts of crude oil have boiled off. The residue may contain various undesirable impurities, including 2% water and 0.5% mineral oil. This fuel may be known as residual fuel oil (RFO), by the Navy specification of Bunker C, or by the Pacific Specification of PS-400.


United Kingdom

The British Standard BS 2869, ''Fuel Oils for Agricultural, Domestic and Industrial Engines'', specifies the following fuel oil classes: Class C1 and C2 fuels are kerosene-type fuels. C1 is for use in flue less appliances (e.g.
lamps Lamp, Lamps or LAMP may refer to: Lighting * Oil lamp, using an oil-based fuel source * Kerosene lamp, using kerosene as a fuel * Electric lamp, or light bulb, a replaceable component that produces light from electricity * Light fixture, or light ...

lamps
). C2 is for vaporizing or atomizing burners in appliances connected to flues. Class A2 fuel is suitable for mobile, off-road applications that are required to use a sulfur-free fuel. Class D fuel is similar to Class A2 and is suitable for use in stationary applications, such as domestic, commercial, and industrial heating. The BS 2869 standard permits Class A2 and Class D fuel to contain up to 7% (V/V)
biodiesel Biodiesel is a form of diesel fuel Diesel fuel in general is any liquid fuel Liquid fuels are combustible or energy-generating molecules that can be harnessed to create mechanical energy In physical sciences Physical science is a ...

biodiesel
(
fatty acid methyl esterFatty acid methyl esters (FAME) are a type of fatty acid ester that are derived by transesterification In organic chemistry, transesterification is the process of exchanging the organic group R″ of an ester with the organic group R′ of an alcoh ...
, FAME), provided the FAME content meets the requirements of the BS EN 14214 standard. Classes E to H are residual oils for atomizing burners serving boilers or, with the exception of Class H, certain types of larger combustion engines. Classes F to H invariably require heating prior to use; Class E fuel may require preheating, depending on ambient conditions.


Russia

Mazut Mazut is a heavy, low quality fuel oil Fuel oil (also known as heavy oil, marine fuel, bunker, furnace oil, or gasoil) is a fraction A fraction (from Latin ', "broken") represents a part of a whole or, more generally, any number of equal parts ...
is a residual fuel oil often derived from Russian petroleum sources and is either blended with lighter petroleum fractions or burned directly in specialized boilers and furnaces. It is also used as a petrochemical feedstock. In the Russian practice, though, "mazut" is an umbrella term roughly synonymous with the fuel oil in general, that covers most of the types mentioned above, except US grades 1 and 2/3, for which separate terms exist (
kerosene Kerosene, paraffin, or lamp oil is a combustible , Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = G ...

kerosene
and
diesel fuel Diesel fuel in general is any liquid fuel Liquid fuels are combustible or energy-generating molecules that can be harnessed to create mechanical energy In physical sciences Physical science is a branch of natural science that studies abi ...
/solar oil respectively — Russian practice doesn't differentiate between diesel fuel and heating oil). This is further separated in two grades, "naval mazut" being analogous to US grades 4 and 5, and "furnace mazut", a heaviest residual fraction of the crude, almost exactly corresponding to US Number 6 fuel oil and further graded by viscosity and sulfur content.


Maritime fuel classification

In the
maritime Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes, the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince ...

maritime
field another type of classification is used for fuel oils: *MGO (Marine gas oil) - Roughly equivalent to no. 2 fuel oil, made from distillate only *MDO ( Marine diesel oil) - Roughly equivalent to no. 3 fuel oil, a blend of heavy gasoil that may contain very small amounts of black refinery feed stocks, but has a low viscosity up to 12 cSt so it need not be heated for use in internal combustion engines *IFO (Intermediate fuel oil) - Roughly equivalent no. 4 fuel oil, a blend of gasoil and heavy fuel oil, with less gasoil than marine diesel oil *HFO (Heavy fuel oil) - Pure or nearly pure residual oil, roughly equivalent to no. 5 and no. 6 fuel oil *NSFO (Navy special fuel oil) - Another name for no. 5 HFO *MFO (Marine fuel oil) - Another name for no. 6 HFO Marine diesel oil contains some heavy fuel oil, unlike regular diesels.


Standards and classification

CCAI and CII are two indexes which describe the ignition quality of residual fuel oil, and CCAI is especially often calculated for marine fuels. Despite this, marine fuels are still quoted on the international bunker markets with their maximum viscosity (which is set by the ISO 8217 standard - see below) due to the fact that marine engines are designed to use different viscosities of fuel. The unit of viscosity used is the centistoke (cSt) and the fuels most frequently quoted are listed below in order of cost, the least expensive first. *IFO 380 - Intermediate fuel oil with a maximum viscosity of 380 centistokes (<3.5% sulfur) *IFO 180 - Intermediate fuel oil with a maximum viscosity of 180 centistokes (<3.5% sulfur) *LS 380 - Low-sulfur (<1.0%) intermediate fuel oil with a maximum viscosity of 380 centistokes *LS 180 - Low-sulfur (<1.0%) intermediate fuel oil with a maximum viscosity of 180 centistokes *MDO - Marine diesel oil *MGO - Marine gasoil *LSMGO - Low-sulfur (<0.1%) Marine Gas Oil - The fuel is to be used in EU Ports and Anchorages. EU Sulfur directive 2005/33/EC *ULSMGO - Ultra-Low-Sulfur Marine Gas Oil - referred to as Ultra-Low-Sulfur Diesel (sulfur 0.0015% max) in the US and Auto Gas Oil (sulfur 0.001% max) in the EU. Maximum sulfur allowable in US territories and territorial waters (inland, marine, and automotive) and in the EU for inland use. The
density The density (more precisely, the volumetric mass density; also known as specific mass), of a substance is its per unit . The symbol most often used for density is ''ρ'' (the lower case Greek letter ), although the Latin letter ''D'' can also ...

density
is also an important parameter for fuel oils since marine fuels are purified before use to remove water and dirt from the oil. Since the purifiers use
centrifugal force In Newtonian mechanics, the centrifugal force is an inertial force A fictitious force (also called a pseudo force, d'Alembert force, or inertial force) is a force that appears to act on a mass whose motion is described using a non-inertial ref ...
, the oil must have a density which is sufficiently different from water. Older purifiers work with a fuel having a maximum of 991 kg/m3; with modern purifiers it is also possible to purify oil with a density of 1010 kg/m3. The first British standard for fuel oil came in 1982. The latest standard is ISO 8217 issued in 2017. The ISO standard describe four qualities of distillate fuels and 10 qualities of residual fuels. Over the years the standards have become stricter on environmentally important parameters such as sulfur content. The latest standard also banned the adding of used lubricating oil (ULO). Some parameters of marine fuel oils according to ISO 8217 (3. ed 2005): # Maximum sulfur content in the open ocean is 3.5% since January 2012. Maximum sulfur content in designated areas is 0.1% since 1 January 2015. Before then it was 1.00%. # The content of aluminum and silicon is limited because those metals are dangerous for the engine. Those elements are present because some components of the fuel are manufactured with Fluid Catalytic Cracking process, which makes use of catalyst containing aluminum and silicon. # The flash point of all fuels used in the engine room should be at least 60 °C. (DMX is used for things like emergency generators and not normally used in the engine room. Gaseous fuels such as LPG/LNG have special class rules applied to the fuel systems.)


Bunker fuel

Bunker fuel or bunker crude is technically any type of fuel oil used aboard vessels. Its name is derived from coal bunkers, where the fuel was originally stored. In 2019, large ships consumed 213 million metric tons of bunker fuel. The Australian Customs and the Australian Tax Office defines a bunker fuel as the fuel that powers the engine of a ship or aircraft. Bunker A is No. 4 fuel oil, bunker B is No. 5, and bunker C is No. 6. Since No. 6 is the most common, "bunker fuel" is often used as a synonym for No. 6. No. 5 fuel oil is also called Navy Special Fuel Oil (NSFO) or just navy special; No. 5 or 6 are also commonly called heavy fuel oil (HFO) or furnace fuel oil (FFO); the high viscosity requires heating, usually by a recirculated low pressure
steam Steam is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fl ...

steam
system, before the oil can be pumped from a bunker tank. Bunkers are rarely labeled this way in modern maritime practice. Since the 1980s the
International Organization for Standardization The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm Norm, the Norm or NORM may refer to: In academic discipline ...
(ISO) has been the accepted standard for marine fuels (bunkers). The standard is listed under number 8217, with recent updates in 2010 and 2017. The Latest Edition of Bunker fuel specification is ISO 8217: 2017. The standard divides fuels into residual and distillate fuels. The most common residual fuels in the shipping industry are RMG and RMK. The differences between the two are mainly the density and viscosity, with RMG generally being delivered at 380
centistokes The viscosity of a fluid is a measure of its drag (physics), resistance to deformation at a given rate. For liquids, it corresponds to the informal concept of "thickness": for example, syrup has a higher viscosity than water. Viscosity can be ...

centistokes
or less, and RMK at 700 centistokes or less. Ships with more advanced engines can process heavier, more viscous, and thus cheaper, fuel. Governing bodies around the world, ''e.g.'', California, European Union, have established Emission Control Areas (ECA) that limit the maximum sulfur of fuels burned in their ports to limit pollution, reducing the percentage of sulfur and other particulates from 4.5% m/m to as little as 0.10% as of 2015 inside an ECA. As of 2013 3.5% continued to be permitted outside an ECA, but the International Maritime Organization has planned to lower the sulfur content requirement outside the ECAs to 0.5% m/m by 2020. This is where Marine Distillate Fuels and other alternatives to use of heavy bunker fuel come into play. They have similar properties to Diesel #2, which is used as road Diesel around the world. The most common grades used in shipping are DMA and DMB.
Greenhouse gas A greenhouse gas (GHG or GhG) is a gas that Absorption (electromagnetic radiation), absorbs and Emission (electromagnetic radiation), emits radiant energy within the thermal infrared range, causing the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhou ...
emissions resulting from the use of international bunker fuels are currently included in national inventories. HFO is still the primary fuel for
cruise ship Cruise ships are large passenger ship A passenger ship is a merchant ship whose primary function is to carry passengers on the sea. The category does not include cargo ship, cargo vessels which have accommodations for limited numbers of pas ...

cruise ship
s, a tourism sector that is associated with a clean and friendly image. In stark contrast, the
exhaust gas Exhaust gas or flue gas Flue gas is the gas exiting to the atmosphere via a flue, which is a pipe or channel for conveying exhaust gases from a fireplace, oven, furnace, boiler Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic ...
emissions - due to HFO's high sulfur content - result in an Eco balance significantly worse than that for individual mobility.


Bunkering

The term "
bunkering Bunkering tanker on the Nile near Luxor, Egypt Bunkering is the supplying of fuel A fuel is any material that can be made to react with other substances so that it releases energy as heat energy or to be used for work. The concept was or ...
" broadly relates to storage of petroleum products in tanks (among other, disparate meanings.) The precise meaning can be further specialized depending on context. Perhaps the most common, more specialized usage refers to the practice and business of refueling ships. Bunkering operations are located at seaports, and they include the storage of bunker (ship) fuels and the provision of the fuel to vessels. Alternatively "bunkering" may apply to the shipboard logistics of loading fuel and distributing it among available bunkers (on-board fuel tanks). Finally, in the context of the
oil industry The petroleum industry, also known as the oil industry or the oil patch, includes the global processes of exploration Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Disc ...
in
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
, bunkering has come to refer to the illegal diversion of crude oil (often subsequently refined in makeshift facilities into lighter transportation fuels) by the unauthorized cutting of holes into transport pipelines, often by very crude and hazardous means and causing spills. As of 2018, some 300 million metric tons of fuel oil is used for ship bunkering. On January 1, 2020, regulations set by the International Marine Organization (IMO) all marine shipping vessels will require the use of very low sulfur fuels (0.5% Sulfur) or to install exhaust gas scrubber systems to remove the excess sulfur dioxide. The emissions from ships have generally been controlled by the following sulfur caps on any fuel oil used onboard: 3.50% on and after 1 January 2012 and 0.50% on and after 1 January 2020. Further removal of sulfur translates to additional energy and capital costs and can impact fuel price and availability. If priced correctly the excess cheap yet dirty fuel would find its way into other markets, including displacing some onshore energy production in nations with low environmental protection .


2021 Oil Impacts

This year has been affected by many current issues not only has it been affecting the people but it is also impacting our oil. In our October ''Short-Term Energy Outlook'': ''Winter Fuels Outlook'', we expect that higher energy prices and a slightly colder winter compared with last year will contribute to households across the United States spending more on energy this winter (October–March) compared with the past several winters. On October 13, 2021, the Brent crude oil price (the most relevant crude oil price in determining U.S. petroleum product prices) was $83 per barrel (b), a 57% increase from last winter’s average, which contributes to the higher expected propane and heating oil retail prices.


Transportation

Fuel oil is transported worldwide by fleets of
oil tanker An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, suc ...
s making deliveries to suitably sized strategic ports such as
Houston Houston ( ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, List of United States cities by population, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as th ...

Houston
,
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
,
Fujairah Fujairah City ( ar, الفجيرة) is the capital of the emirate of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; Arabic: الإمارات العربية المتحدة '), sometimes simply called the Emirates (Arabi ...

Fujairah
, Balboa, Cristobal, Sakha (Egypt),
Algeciras Algeciras (, , is a port city in the south of Andalusia Andalusia (, ; es, Andalucía ) is the southernmost Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in Peninsular Spain. It is the most populous and the second largest autonomous ...

Algeciras
, and
Rotterdam Rotterdam ( , , ) is the second largest city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2n ...

Rotterdam
. Where a convenient seaport does not exist, inland transport may be achieved with the use of
barge A barge is a shoal A tidal sandbar connecting the islands of Waya and Wayasewa of the Yasawa Islands, Fiji In oceanography Oceanography (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in a ...

barge
s. Lighter fuel oils can also be transported through pipelines. The major physical supply chains of Europe are along the
Rhine River The Rhine (german: Rhein , french: Rhin, nl, Rijn, : ''Rén'', and : ''Rein'', and : ''Ragn'', , , and : ''Rain'', it, Reno, gsw, Rhi(n) including /, , : ''Rhing'', la, Rhenus , : ''Rajna'') is one of the major . The river begins in the Swis ...
.


Environmental issues

Emissions from bunker fuel burning in ships contribute to climate change and to
air pollution Air pollution is the presence of substances in the atmosphere that are harmful to the health of humans and other Outline of life forms, living beings, or cause damage to the climate or to materials. There are different types of air pollutants, ...

air pollution
levels in many port cities, especially where the emissions from industry and
road traffic Traffic on roads consists of ''road users'' including pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, streetcars, buses and other Public conveyance, conveyances, either singly or together, while using the public way for purposes of travel. ...
have been controlled. The switch of auxiliary engines from heavy fuel oil to diesel oil at berth can result in large emission reductions, especially for SO2 and PM. emissions from bunker fuels sold are not added to national GHG emissions. For small countries with large international ports, there is an important difference between the emissions in territorial waters and the total emissions of the fuel sold.


See also

*: an important fuel for ships in regions such as the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and VanuatuNational Geographic magazine, April 2012 * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


References


External links


National Park Service - Fuel OilInternational Bunker Industry Association
{{Authority control IARC Group 2B carcinogens Liquid fuels Petroleum products