Ask the Expert: the impact of 2020 on lubricant choice

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The latest of ExxonMobil’s ‘Ask the Expert’ technical Q&A looks at how the changes brought about by the 2020 sulphur cap will not only affect fuel selection, but also change the way operators approach their cylinder oil choices.

At present, vessel operators need to select a lubricant with a BN that matches the onboard fuel’s sulphur content level. In 2020, most vessels will comply with the IMO’s global cap and bunker a 0.5% sulphur fuel, switching to a 0.10% sulphur fuel in Emission Control Areas (ECAs). In these circumstances, a low BN cylinder oil is the anticipated option.

However, there will also be other factors that could potentially affect cylinder oil choices including operating a highly corrosive engine. Including vessels with evolving engine designs or configurations using Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and even those burning LNG as a fuel. These are just a few of the considerations vessel operators face when selecting the right oil.

Click here to find out how best to leverage used oil analysis data, such as ExxonMobil’s Mobil Serv Cylinder Condition Monitoring service.


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