Condition monitoring technology manufacturer Parker Kittiwake has launched its X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Analyzer, a portable testing device that can measure the sulphur content in fuel.
The XRF is desgined to analyze a small fuel sample and provide an indication of its sulphur content in less than three minutes. This gives both ship owners and Port State Control (PSC) the ability to conduct laboratory-standard testing onsite, before non-compliant fuel is bunkered and before a vessel carrying non-compliant fuel leaves a port.
Traditional sulphur compliance confirmation measures rely on paperwork, such as a bunker delivery note. These increase the risk of non-compliance and subsequent penalties for ship owners and also also heighten the environmental impact of burning fuel with a higher sulphur content.
The delay incurred by laboratory analysis creates the risk that the vessel may have left port with non-compliant fuel on board, or may require non-compliant fuel to be de-bunkered and compliant fuel re-bunkered, incurring costs and delays.
“Given the lack of environmental policing on the high seas, enforcement of the 2020 global sulphur cap is a daunting challenge for the industry,” says Larry Rumbol, marine condition monitoring manager at Parker Kittiwake. “Efforts to develop robust enforcement solutions tend to focus on paperwork checks at ports, but this must be reinforced by accurate, reliable testing data.”
The XRF Analyzer provides a spot-check analysis of the sulphur content in fuel onsite, allowing PSC to ascertain compliance almost instantly, and affording ship owners the opportunity to avoid fines, plus the time, expense and operational impact of bunkering non-compliant fuel.
In addition to sulphur testing, the XRF Analyzer can be used to measure a range of wear metals in lubricating oil, allowing operators to quickly identify potential damage in cylinder liners, bearings, piston rings, gears, stern tubes and hydraulic systems.