What is the source of Organic Chloride in Residual Fuel?

Frequently Asked Question: What is the source of Organic Chloride in Residual Fuel?

The chlorinated Organic compounds, also known as Organic Chlorides, are often found in fuel, posing a significant challenge as they can generate corrosive hydrochloric acid within an engine’s fuel system, leading to severe damage to both main and auxiliary engines.

The sources of these compounds are twofold: some occur naturally as inherent components of crude oil, while others are introduced artificially during the crude oil extraction, transportation, and refining processes.

These chlorides can come from the seawater, the entrained water in the crude, Naphthalic acid and/or Asphaltene hydrolyses in the well, addition of chlorine as an oxidising biocide, addition of some corrosion inhibitors, malfunction of Marine Growth Protection System and the like.

These chlorides can take two forms: organic chloro-hydrocarbons and inorganic chloride (e.g., sodium chloride).

Organic chlorides, not naturally present, are extensively used in the oil industry as wax dissolvers during the extraction process. In contrast, inorganic chlorides are compounds where chlorine atoms are directly bonded with metals. While the removal of inorganic chlorides in refineries is relatively straightforward through conventional desalination processes.

However, dealing with organic chlorides presents a greater challenge due to their solubility in oil and the high dissociation energy of the C-Cl bond. Organic chlorides, known for their solvent-like properties, tend to accumulate sediments and dirt from fuel tanks/systems, leading to filter clogging and separator sludging.

Furthermore, under specific conditions, they may react to form corrosive hydrochloric acid, causing rapid corrosive damage to fuel system components. Research discovered that at a temperature of 127 °C or more, gaseous organic chlorides are able to spontaneously form hydrogen chloride gas and can form hydrochloric acid when dissolved in water.

Therefore, it’s crucial to detect organic chloride contamination proactively to prevent machinery damage and ensure optimal engine performance.

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