Ultrasonic Characterisation of Heavy Fuel Oil
Heavy fuel oils (HFO) are used to power around 80% of the world’s freight ships. There are reports that the quality of HFO is rapidly decreasing due to impurity or contaminants (usually solid particulates). They cause damage to engines, reduce their efficiency and make unplanned breakdowns more likely.
Some of the freight ships employ on-board fuel oil treatment systems that use purifiers and filters to remove contaminants before the oils enter the engine. However, currently none of these have any form of online or real-time analysis of their purification efficiency which would provide useful data for inclusion in the engine management system to aid effective engine management, wear prediction and preventative maintenance strategies.
This project focuses on the investigation of ultrasonic characterisation technologies that will enable the effective monitoring of fuel oil quality and optimization of filtration processes. We aim to use ultrasound to detect the solid contaminants in HFO based on sound scattering theories. The overall outcome of this project will contribute towards making marine propulsion systems more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.