We test asphaltene content of residual fuel and low-sulphur blended fuels to ASTM D3279.
As part of VPS Additional Protection Service, asphaltene tests linked with TSE/TSP/TSA and SN data can provide a greater understanding and assessment of the fuel’s potential sediment behaviour and efficiency.
High asphaltene content fuels have a greater tendency to form sludge especially when blended with incompatible hydrocarbons.
If the paraffinic nature of the hydrocarbon medium increases then asphaltene separation may occur. Precipitation of asphaltenes can cause sludging, leading to filter blocking and blocked pipework, with consequences on the engine i.e. fuel-starvation, higher risk of incomplete combustion especially in low-medium speed engines.
The higher the asphaltenic content the less efficient a fuel is regarding its burn characteristics and energy release.