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International legislation to reduce emissions to air from marine engines using fuels such as Heavy Fuel Oil and Marine Diesel Oil is continually being introduced. Legislation that dramatically restrict emission levels of SOX, NOX and particulate matter presents new technical challenges and requires new technical solutions. To improve engine performance and fuel efciency, billions of dollars have been spent on improving the design of ship engines and ship hulls over the years. To further improve engine performance, the fuel itself needs to be optimised.
Through recent advances in technology homogenisation, a mechanical process for treating fuel is now a safe and reliable means to get optimum performance from the fuel. Improving the functionality of fuel oils achieves improvements in both fuel efciency and reductions in emissions to air. The Unitor Fuel Homogeniser product line provides a solution to these challenges.

A win-win solution
Vessels using Heavy Fuel Oil typically produce 2.0 2.3% of daily fuel consumption as sludge, which they must then dispose of. Our fuel homogenising solutions reduce sludge up to 80%, and give up to 2% better fuel efficiency. Homogenised fuel has a cleaner burn, and thereby reduces particulate matter. With the Unitor Fuel Homogeniser Injector, NOX can also be reduced up to 20%. By using the Unitor Fuel Homogeniser Systems ship owners will improve fuel efficiency, save money on fuel and waste handling and reducing their environmental impact. A win-win solution for both operating cost and the environment.

Solution benets
The compact, frame-mounted design allows an easy installation. The system gives a significant reduced load on separators and filters. The system increase performance of engines and boilers, and is applicable to all types of fossil and bio fuels, with no restricted areas of use.

Results achieved
The results achieved from the system will depend on where in the fuel line it is deployed. In summary: UFH Reducer placed before fuel oil separator, can reduce fuel oil sludge up to 80% UFH Improver installed before viscometer, optimises fuel for combustion UFH Injector placed before mix tank has the above results, plus it creates water in fuel emulsion to reduce NOX UFH Recycler deployed before boiler/ incinerator optimises dewatered sludge and waste oil to reduce need for feed stock According to independent lab tests, the UFH range has no effect on catfines, a common problem among other designs.

Reduced waste and emissions to air

By using the Unitor Fuel Homogeniser Systems, several environmental effects are achieved. Sludge is reduced up to 80%, waste oil is recycled, visible exhaust particulates are reduced by up to 90% and NOX reduction of up to 20% is achieved.

Maximised returns
Operational costs are minimised by avoiding sludge production in the first place and through fuel efficiency gains of up to 2%. These savings in operating costs contribute to a short return on investment.


The treatment process

The Unitor Fuel Homogeniser uses cavitation and high shear forces to optimise fuels by reducing fuel droplets to a uniform small size (approx. 3 m) to give a well balanced fuel with a high surface area. Uniform fuel droplets lead to a reduction in the amount of fuel sludge produced. The increased surface area results in better combustion and less combustion waste products like particulate matters. All organic material will be reduced while catfines and solids, which contribute to abrasive wear, will pass through the Unitor Fuel Homogeniser untouched. The effectiveness of the purifier at removing these catfines and solids is not affected. This represents a tremendous technical advance over other homogeniser designs.



Figure 1.1 Shown above on the left and right are magni ed images of HFO before and after homogenising. The homogeniser with its rotor & stator assembly is shown in the centre. Before homogenising the fuel droplets are large and there are many asphaltenes (the black particles). Asphaltenes, despite having good fuel value, are normally discared on account of their size. After homogenising the fuel droplets are of an uniform, small size and the asphaltenes have been reduced.

The principles of homogenisation

Both HFO and MDO can be seen to consist of droplets when magnified. These droplets can be a range of sizes up to approx 70m. Smaller fuel droplets produce a sequence of benefits: 1. Better the distribution of the fuel vapour in the cylinder 2. More contact with oxygen 3. Better carburetion 4. Improved combustion quality 5. Engine efficiency improves 6. Engine waste products reduced During homogenisation in a UFH a fuel droplet of 70m diameter will be divided into more than 12,000 smaller droplets, thereby achieving a 23 fold increase in surface area.


UFH Reducer
Disposal of sludge from the purification of Heavy Fuel Oil is a hassle and an operational cost for vessels. The legal options are to land it or incinerate it onboard. Analysis of sludge typically shows a high proportion of asphaltenes, which are tar-like particles. They have good calorific values and can be used as fuel, however because of their large size they tend to be discarded by the fuel purifiers. The UFH Reducer offers a true win-win solution in that by reducing the size of asphaltenes they can pass trough the fuel purifier and be used for benefit as fuel instead of being disposed of as sludge at a cost. The UFH Reducer can reduce HFO sludge generation by up to 80%. Unlike earlier homogenisers the UFH Reducer does not affect the size of catfines, a fact that has been demonstrated by independent laboratory analysis. This means that catfines pass through the UFH Reducer untouched and will be removed by the fuel purifiers as intended. The UFH Reducer actually reduces sludge in two ways because by reducing the amount of work the fuel purifiers have to do, it means that they do not need to perform back flushing cycles as often. Each cycle produces a volume of sludge so by cutting the number of cycles from e.g. 24 to 6 per day a major sludge reduction is achieved, as shown by the results from a test onboard MV Schieborg.

UFH Improver
Engine manufacturers have made huge efforts to improve engine efficiency by refining their designs. However, this does not mean the fuel itself is being optimised. To reach the best overall efficiency both engine design and the fuel functionality must be optimised. This explains why even modern engines tend to produce visible exhaust emissions an indication of incomplete combustion. Fuel consists of fuel droplets of a range of sizes. The process of homogenisation produces fuel droplets of a uniformed small size. As can be seen in figure 1.1, this gives the fuel a greater surface area. Smaller droplets mean better atomisation and better contact with oxygen with the overall result that combustion and therefore efficiency improve. The UFH Improver will ensure optimum fuel functionality under all operational conditions which can result in a up to 0.8% improvement in efficiency and a reduction in exhaust particulate of up to 90%. The direct cost saving of this is obvious, but a cleaner burning engine will also have reduced layer build-up on parts and therefore can have longer maintenance intervals.

UFH Injector
The 2008 amendments to Marpol Annex VI introduced Tier I NOx requirements for existing pre-2000 engines and Tier II and III NO x emission standards for new engines. It also set the basis for Emission Control Areas (ECAs), a concept which will receive a major boost shortly when the proposed ECA for the US and Canada comes into effect. These regulations are among the most important challenges the shipping industry is facing. The UFH Injector is a state of the art solution based on the formation of a stable water in fuel emulsion and is the easiest way to achieve a significant NO x reduction. NO x reduction of up to 20% is achieved and visible exhaust emissions are reduced by up to 90%. The UFH Injector is installed before the mix/buffer tank to avoid continuous adding of water when the fuel is being circulated in the booster system. The water injection automatically adjusts to match the fuel flow and the system can be installed on all kinds of diesel engine systems from those with slow speed 2-strokes to high speed 4-stroke engines. The NO x reduction made possible by the UFH Injector comes with a slight gain in fuel efficiency and it makes it possible for a Tier I designed engine to meet Tier II requirements. As such it is a very good solution for retrofit of pre-2000 engines to meet Tier I requirements. On board ships with a SCR system, the UFH Injector is complementary because it can reduce the size of the SCR needed, reduce the urea consumption by up to 20% and increase the SCR lifetime.



Standard conguration
The standard con guration of three of the four Unitor Fuel Homogeniser Systems are shown to the right. For information on the full range, visit our web page.












Technical data
UFH model
(max. owrate)

Capacity l/h 1500 4500 9000 12000 30000 Fuel type Reducer HFO HFO HFO HFO HFO Fuel type Improver/Injector MGO to IF 700 MGO to IF 700 MGO to IF 700 MGO to IF 700 MGO to IF 700 Min/Max temperature 90C / 150C 90C / 150C 90C / 150C 90C / 150C 90C / 150C Max working pressure 12 bar 12 bar 12 bar 12 bar 12 bar Connection dimensions 1 2 2 2 4 UFH model
(max. owrate)

Control voltage VAC 230 230 230 230 230

kW at (400 V, 50 Hz) 4 7.5 11 11 22

Amp max / running (400 V, 50 Hz) 10/5.5 19/11.0 27.5/15.3 27.5/15.3 55/30.5

kW at (460 V, 60 Hz) 4.8 9 13.2 13.2 26.4

Amp max / running (460 V, 60 Hz) 10.5/5.8 19.6/10.9 28.7/15.9 28.7/15.9 57.4/31.9

Protection class IP 54 IP 54 IP 54 IP 54 IP 54

015 045 090 120 300

015 045 090 120 300

Technology provided by IPCO Power B.V.

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What is Wilhelmsen Ships Equipment?

Wilhelmsen Ships Equipment offers fully engineered safety, environmental and insulation solutions for the newbuilds and retrofits in the maritime and offshore markets. The companys main capabilities are design, production, installation (on request) and commissioning. Annually, Wilhelmsen Ships Equipment delivers over 1500 systems from sales locations around the world. Today, our solutions and equipment are used by roughly a quarter of the worlds merchant fleet. Our safety solutions contain complete systems for smoke and fire detection, fire-fighting for closed rooms and open spaces, and nitrogen inert gas systems, as well as loose safety equipment. We have a solutions approach to environmental problems and can provide solutions for emissions to air, waste management (such as reduction of waste and oily water), ballast water treatment and fuel efficiency. Through our company TI Marine Contracting we deliver low-temperature insulation of cargo tanks on gas carriers and terminal piping, as well as fire and comfort insulation of naval vessels. We are present in all major shipbuilding countries and delivers after sales service through our sister company Wilhelmsen Ships Service with local expertise worldwide. Wilhelmsen Ships Equipment Tel.: +47 67 58 40 00, Fax: +47 67 58 69 01 Email:


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