LEMAG Fuel Quality Improver (FQI) Safety-Homogenizer - Fuel savings and sludge reduction!

By Peter Pospiech at September 14, 2012 09:03
Filed Under: Company News, drive systems

The LEMAG Fuel Quality Improver (FQI) is designed to solve the problems ship owners and operators face when running on heavy fuel. Heavy fuel oil has been homogenized successfully for many years. This process considerably improves the fuel quality and results in a better combustion. The homogenizer breaks up the long asphaltene chains in the fuel and enables these to be burnt accordingly. Several ship owners have reported fuel savings of 1% by improving fuel quality accordingly.  It is also possible to use a homogenizer to reduce sludge by approx. 50%. To achieve this two LEMAG safety-homogenizers have to be installed, one before the purifier and one in the booster circuit before the duplex filter. The return of investment should be achieved within less than a year.  However, a homogenizer should not and cannot be used to alter cat-fines. These have to be removed to avoid the fuel acting as a ‚lapping paste’ for the fuel injection parts and cylinders.

LEMAG's Fuel Quality Improver (FQI)

LEMAG has carried out field tests with DNV to prove that the purifier’s effectiveness is not reduced using homogenized fuel. The results below clearly show that the purifier could successfully remove cat-fines even with fuel homogenized for over four hours!
Fuel tests carried out by DNV:
with and without homogenized fuel 
Non-homogenized fuel
Before the purifier:     47 mg/kg Cat-Fines
Fuel homogenised for 1 hour
After the purifier:        6 mg/kg Cat-Fines 
Fuel homogenised for 4 hours 
After the purifier:        6 mg/kg Cat-Fines

Why should a SAFETY-Homogenizer be installed?
The homogenization process increases the fuel temperature. Usually the heat energy is absorbed by the fuel flowing through the system. However, if the flow through the homogenizer is interrupted, the stagnant fuel will heat up by approx. 3.5°C per minute which can cause the equipment to fail. LEMAG FQI safety-homogenizers therefore permanently measure fuel temperature and also check that the rotor behind the magnetic coupling is turning. The voltage, temperature, flow etc, are of course also monitored and will if necessary open a common alarm contact. Further advantages   of   the   LEMAG   FQI   safety-homogenizer include a simple, stepless adjustment of the gap between stator and rotor. This process does not require the housing to be opened and is carried out using a central adjuster with only one adjusting nut to avoid any possible jamming. Wear and tear of the unit’s magnetic coupling and bearing is also considerably reduced due to the use of inner heat pockets made of stainless steel, which avoid any damages caused by cold residual fuel during the start-up procedure.

The  LEMAG  FQI  safety-homogenizers  are  available  in  different  sizes  for  flows  ranging  from  1 m³/h to 25 m³/h.
During the SMM 2012 International Marine Exhibition in Hamburg the company announced type approval received by Germanischer Lloyd for the Safety Homogenizer.

images: courtesy of LEMAG

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