Port Engineers' Society Meeting Hears Paper On Fuel Oil Separators

At a recent meeting of The Society of Marine Port Engineers of New York, a paper entitled "ALCAP—A Separation System for High-Density Fuel Oils" was presented by Michael Stepanovich, marketing manager for Alfa-Laval, Inc. The following paragraphs are excerpts from his paper.

The quality of heavy fuel oil burned in diesel engines on-board ships and in power stations is changing worldwide due mainly to increased demand, increased severity of refining techniques, and heavier crude oils. One consequence of this change in quality has been an increased requirement for efficient cleaning in order to achieve reliable and economical operation of diesel engines burning low-grade, heavy fuel oils. Another consequence, and by far the most important from a cleaning standpoint, has been the increase in fuel density.

In anticipation of these developments, Alfa-Laval has been engaged in research and development activities aimed towards producing a cleaning system that would not only be capable of handling heavy fuel oils with densities above the currently accepted limits, but would also be simple, reliable, and essentially maintenance-free.

Alfa-Laval's goal was to develop a separator system based on a conventional partial discharge clarifier design, thereby doing away with the need for gravity discs. In addition, the system had to have the capability to monitor the water content in the bowl and to drain away this accumulated water without necessarily initiating a sludge discharge.

In response to this need, in May 1983 Alfa-Laval introduced its ALCAP separation system, which is said to represent an entirely new approach to the treatment of heavy fuel oil. The system features a new line of FOPX separators that have no gravity discs. Fuel oils with densities up to 1,010 kilograms per cubic meter at 15 C can be cleaned efficiently.

Operation is simple, as no adjustments of the cleaning plant are required despite fluctuations in density, viscosity, flow rate, or other factors.

"In conclusion," said Mr. Stepanovich, "after extensive testing, the ALCAP separation system has proven to be more efficient than traditional purifiers or clarifiers, especially in cases where the oil is heavily contaminated with water. As the ALCAP system does not utilize gravity discs, no adjustments to the cleaning plant are necessary.... Finally, due to its retrofit capability, ALCAP offers a solution to the problem of efficiently cleaning highdensity fuels both now and in the future." For a copy of the paper, Circle 12 on Reader Service Card

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 18,  Mar 1985

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