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Published on : Dec 16, 2015

Bunker fuels have remained the focal point of many controversies related to marine environment in the past few years owing to the unrefined and more polluting nature of these fuels as compared to other petroleum products. Strict measures, in terms of declaring certain marine dwellings as emissions control areas (ECAs) where vessels are prohibited from burning fuel oils that have sulfur contents more than 0.1%.

Many other specifications about what can and what cannot be blended with bunker fuels have also become stricter over the past years, with waste oils and recycled lubricants being forbidden expressly by many governing bodies.

As the demand for cleaner forms of bunker fuels increases on a global front, bunker fuel manufacturers are faced with the challenge to meet the strict specifications of regulatory bodies while developing bunker fuels that are economic for the users.

Reports have been published about the development of cleaner bunker fuels in the past years but no major path-breaking bunker fuels have hit the market in reality. Recently, a French company actively involved in transforming waste oils into marine fuels has stated that it sold its first marine oil residue-derived bunker fuel to a European country.

The Paris-based company Ecoslops has said that it sold 1,000 metric tons of marine diesel oil compliant with ISO 8217 to a client. The product was sold in November.

Even as the regulations regarding the use of recycled lubricants or waste oils are becoming stricter on a global front, a handful of bunker fuel manufacturers across the globe are exploring ideas to recycle waste oil for making new products, such as Infineum, Q Environmental, and Vertex Energy.

Ecoslops’ representatives have said that the shipping industry has shown an incredibly positive response to the new products. The product can be sold as a traditional fuel oil as it is compliant with the ISO 8217 standards. The company is expecting to make more bunker fuel derived from used marine oils.