The IFO 180, also known as Intermediate Fuel Oil 180, is a type of heavy fuel primarily used in the marine industry, especially in ship and vessel engines. Here are some key characteristics of IFO 180:
Lies in their viscosity and density, with IFO 380 being heavier and more viscous than IFO 180. Both fuels are used in marine applications, but the choice between them depends on factors such as the type of engine and local environmental regulations.
- Viscosity: IFO 180 has relatively high viscosity compared to diesel fuels and gasoline. Its high viscosity is due to its heavy nature.
- Density: It has high density due to its heavy composition.
- Sulfur Content: Traditionally, IFO 180 has had a significant sulfur content. However, international environmental regulations, such as Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention, have led to a reduction in sulfur content in this type of fuel in recent years.
- Flash Point: IFO 180 has a higher flash point compared to lighter fuels, making it less flammable.
- Primary Use: It is primarily used in the marine industry, in engines of large ships and vessels.
- Combustion and Performance: Due to its heavy nature, IFO 180 is suitable for marine engines that operate at low speeds and heavy loads. These engines are often two-stroke diesel engines.
- Environmental Compliance: To meet stricter environmental regulations and reduce sulfur emissions, low-sulfur variants of IFO 180 have been developed.
- Cost: IFO 180 is typically more cost-effective than higher-grade marine fuels like Marine Diesel Oil (MDO) and Marine Gas Oil (MGO).
- Sulfur Emissions: IFO 180 traditionally has a high sulfur content, which can result in the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) during combustion. SO2 is an atmospheric pollutant that can contribute to acid rain formation and have adverse effects on air quality and the environment.
- Solid Particulate Matter: Combustion of IFO 180 can also release fine solid particles into the air, known as particulate matter. These particles can be harmful to human health and can have adverse effects on air quality and nearby ecosystems.
- Spills and Leaks: The storage and handling of IFO 180 on ships and port terminals carry the risk of spills and leaks. Spills of IFO 180 can contaminate bodies of water and marine habitats, affecting marine life and coastal ecosystems.
- Impact on Aquatic Ecosystems: Pollution from IFO 180 can have a negative impact on aquatic ecosystems, including toxicity to marine life and contamination of surface waters and sediments.
- Compliance with Environmental Regulations: To mitigate these environmental risks, international environmental regulations, such as those established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), have set strict limits on sulfur content in marine fuels, leading to the production of low-sulfur variants of IFO 180.