Marine Fuel Oil & Its Properties

Marine heavy fuel oil is a clean fuel found in various grades. It is the most popular type of fuel for marine engines. However, when you’re thinking about marine fuel oil properties, there are several factors that you should keep in mind. These include specific gravity, viscosity, and olefins. These are important aspects to consider, as they can significantly impact fuel quality. You’ll want to choose a marine fuel oil with these properties in the right amounts.


Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a liquid to flow. Liquids with high viscosity are thicker and more resistant to flow. Examples of high-viscosity liquids include honey, syrup, and motor oil.

Viscosity regulation requires continuous and accurate viscosity measurement. Fuel temperatures may increase during the operation of a vessel, and high-viscosity fuel is more difficult to manage. A fuel viscosity regulator can help keep the viscosity within a certain range.

Specific gravity:

Marine fuel oil is used in the fueling process for marine vessels. Unlike gasoline, marine fuel oil has a higher density than gasoline. It weighs approximately 5.95 pounds per gallon and has a specific gravity of 0.715. Fuel oil is made from petroleum and has many uses. It is used to fuel various types of engines, including personal watercraft.


Olefins are unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbons found in many crude oils and condensates worldwide. They are found in homologous series and are characteristic compounds. Olefins are also known to form a double bond. These compounds are useful in fuel oil production because they can act as depositional indicators.


Aromatics are a class of chemical compounds present in distillate fuel oils. These compounds contain four or more condensed rings. They are carcinogenic when consumed in high concentrations. Most blending stocks of residual fuel oils contain 5% or more of four to six-ring condensed aromatic hydrocarbons.

Generally, the flammability of marine fuel depends on the flash point of the fuel. It affects the fuel’s ignition, the flame’s spreading, and the difficulty of extinguishing it. The higher the flash point, the more flammable the fuel is. A marine fuel with a flash point of 60 degC (140degF) is considered safe for ships.


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