From 1 January 2020 International Maritime Organisation regulations for marine pollution require the sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships operating outside designated emission control areas to be reduced from 35,000 parts per million (ppm) to 5,000 ppm (IMO 2020).
Ultraclean Fuel (Marine) Ltd (UCFM) was established to develop and exploit a new desulphurisation process for the removal of sulphur from marine fuels (UCFM Process).
UCFM has a perpetual and exclusive licence for the application of the desulphurisation of marine fuel by use of the Ultrex® process, a process that was developed and patented by Ultraclean Fuel Limited, the world-first, commercial-scale oxidative desulphurisation technology for the removal of sulphur from diesel to less than 10 ppm – video link https://youtu.be/pVRA0uogvwk.
Building on the knowledge of the Ultrex® process, UCFM is developing the UCFM Process as a low cost, environmentally-conscious solution for the removal of sulphur from marine fuels, that can be rolled out at scale to achieve IMO 2020.
Based on the benefits of the Ultrex® process, the expected advantages of the UCFM Process relative to alternate solutions such as scrubbing and hydro desulphurisation (HDS), are expected to include:
- products that are 5,000 ppm or 1,000ppm marine fuel plus either a modified polymer or bitumen for use in road construction;
- no vessel or engine modifications required, no costly dry dock;
- plants applying the UCFM process can be installed at tank storage locations and can be easily incorporated into existing supply chains; and
- plants applying the UCFM process have a reduced carbon footprint, low capital and operating cost, and accelerated construction time.