Marine fuel additives are chemical treatment solutions added to a marine vessel’s existing fuel in order to improve its quality, efficiency, and performance. They are extensively employed due to their ability to enhance the life of marine engines as well as to reduce the cost of operating marine vessels. These two factors are key drivers of the marine fuel additives market. Furthermore, an emerging and strong factor for the increased usage of such additives is the need to curb environmental emissions of the marine industry.
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However, the most important reason for the utilization of marine fuel additives is the variable quality of marine fuel itself. The quality of marine fuel depends largely on the location of purchase and the type of trader, i.e., an oil company or an independent supplier. In many cases, the marine fuel is a blend of different available stocks. In such cases, while the fuel may meet the vessel’s ISO specification, it is still unlikely to suit the requirement of the ship’s engine.
The modification of the chemical properties of marine fuels is the most commonly employed method of improving the quality of the marine fuel, and this modification is done by utilizing marine fuel additives. These additives can be segmented on the basis of type: Pre-combustion, combustion, and post-combustion. The pre-combustion marine fuel additives have been designed for residual fuel stabilization. These additives prevent asphaltene agglomeration that usually leads to sludge formation in tanks and fuel systems by allowing the blending of light and heavy components of the marine fuel.
The combustion marine fuel additives primarily help in burning-up the available carbon in every fuel droplet in a shorter amount of time. They not only ensure a more complete combustion, but also reduce the buildup of sooty deposits. Post-combustion marine fuel additives primarily effect the ash material found in fuels, apart from also effecting the melting temperatures of various compounds created during combustion. They primarily prevent ash and other compounds from attaching themselves to the engine or the exhaust gas boiler.
In terms of fuel type, the marine fuel additives market can be segmented into diesel, gasoline, and others. Currently, gasoline is the most commonly employed marine fuel, especially HFO, i.e. heavy fuel oil. The diesel fuel segment held a limited share of the market. The others fuel type, which includes marine fuels such as marine gas oil (MGO), held a lesser share of the market as compared to the diesel fuel type segment. However, the market share held by the others marine fuel segment is estimated to increase during the forecast period, and hence along with it, the demand for marine fuel additives in the others fuel type segment is also likely to increase.
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Based on the function of the marine fuel additives, its market can be segmented into deposit control, anti-oxidant, corrosion prevention, lubricity and CETANE improvers, and others. The most common function of the additives is to prevent deposition of unnecessary materials and compounds as well as to prevent corrosion. The usage of marine fuel additives as antioxidants is also very important and occupies a considerable share in the market.
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