July 2019

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Environment: Everything you want to know about IMO 2020 but are afraid to ask

IMO 2020 is posing big questions about significant issues, and clear answers are proving difficult to find.

Barsamian, A., Refinery Automation Institute, LLC

IMO 2020 is posing big questions about significant issues, and clear answers are proving difficult to find. With fewer than 6 mos to go, a review of the key issues—availability and prices, scrubbers, compatibility and stability, ISO 8217 inadequacy and patents—is beneficial. Briefly, the availability of 0.5% very-low-sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) will not be an issue. Prices will hover anywhere from $30/metric t–$120/metric t over high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) prices. Scrubbers cannot be beat for price differentials above $80/metric t. Compatibility and stability of blends will be a big headache. Buying ISO 8217-compliant fuel will not guarantee fitness for use and, finally, formulation patents gua

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