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Carbon Residue in Fuel Oils

Carbon residueThe carbon residue of a fuel is the tendency of carbon deposits to form under high temperature in an inert atmosphere. It is known that the correlation between carbon residue and diesel engine performance is poor. However, in the absence of any other parameter, this property is included in fuel specifications, indicating the carbonaceous deposit-forming tendencies of the fuel. Many factors can affect the combustion process in diesel engines, including engine loading, engine tuning and the ignition qualities of the fuel which all have an effect on the deposit tendencies of a particular fuel.
 


The carbon residue value of a fuel depends on the refinery processes employed in its manufacture. For straight run fuels, the value is typically 10 - 12% m/m, while for fuels from secondary refining processing the value depends on the severity of the processes applied. In some areas it can be as high as 20% m/m.
 


Modern engines are tolerant to a wide range of MCR valves. However, some older engines, typically of the 1970s, are such that difficulties may be experienced burning fuels with an MCR greater than 12% m/m, especially at low loads. Above this level, there is likely to be increased carbonaceous deposit, which will affect the performance of the engine. Operational experience has shown that the present generation of large, medium and slow speed engines designed for residual fuel can tolerate a wide range of MCR values without any adverse effect.


Comment

  • >20% High; may be problematic and cause increased fouling
  • ~ 13% Current global average

Comment
 
Injector nozzles can become fouled using high MCR fuel. Careful control of nozzle cooling temperature can help reduce this.

 

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