Catalyst fines (hard particles of abrasive nature consisting of aluminium and silicon oxide) often remain in bunker fuel after the catalytic cracking process of crude oil and are extremely harmful to engine parts.

This is especially important with regard to the increased use of low-sulphur heavy fuel oil for ship operation. Despite a complimentary purification procedure in a separator system on board a vessel prior to using the oil for engine operation, the degree of cat fines might not correspond to the maximum acceptable level. Therefore quick on-site testing of HFO samples with Martechnic®’s test kit MT CAT FINES CHECK helps to regularly assess the quality of bunker fuel delivered on board and the functioning of the cleaning system and separators.

To determine the presence of cat fines in HFO samples before and after a separator and to visually quantify their concentration with the help of the Comparison Chart (part of each test kit MT CAT FINES CHECK), the oil samples have to be prepared and diluted in glass vials. After that, the plastic microcentrifuge tubes are filled with the obtained mixture from glass vials and a reagent and placed into the centrifuge in a parallel position.

In case of an odd number of microcentrifuge tubes, a filled plastic tube has to be used to balance the centrifuge. After ten minutes the samples can be taken out of the centrifuge and the cat fines concentration in the heavy fuel oil before and after a separator can be immediately visually assessed.

Key benefits of the MT CAT FINES CHECK include:

  • Easy and quick test method
  • Up to eight simultaneous measurements possible
  • Visually quantifiable
  • Applicable for all types of heavy fuel oil
  • Demonstrative test results
  • Easy to use even for untrained personnel
  • Cost-effective testing method