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Furnace oil is a dark viscous residual fuel obtained by blending mainly heavier components from crude distillation unit, short residue and clarified oil from fluidized catalytic cracker unit.
Bunker fuel, furnace oil , Fuel oil are other names for the same product. Though Fuel oil is a general term applied to any oil used for generation of power or heat, Fuel oil can included distillates and blends of distillates and residue such as Light Diesel Oil.
Viscosity is the most important characteristic in the furnace oil specification. It influences the degree of pre-heat required for handling, storage and satisfactory atomization. If the oil is too viscous it may become difficult to pump, burner may be hard to light and operation may be erratic.
Poor atomization may result in the carbon deposits on the burner tips or on the walls. The upper viscosity limit for furnace oil is such that it can be handled without heating in the storage tank is excepting under server cold conditions. Pre-heating is necessary for proper atomization.
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It is a very rough indication of the lowest temperature at which Furnace Oil is readily pumpable. In the specification the pour point of Furnace oil is not stipulated. However, for Furnace oil manufactured indigenously and for imported parcels, the pour point is such that current supplies normally can be handled without heating the fuel oil handling installation.
Water may be present in free or emulsified form and can on combustion cause damage to the inside furnace surfaces especially if it contains dissolved salts. It can also cause sputtering of the flame at the burner tip. Water content of furnace oil when supplied is normally very low as the product at refinery site is handled hot and maximum limit of 1% is specified in the standard.
Furnace oil being a blend of residues contains some quantity of sediments. These have adverse effect on the burners and cause blockage of filters etc. However, the typical values are normally much lower than the stipulated value of maximum 0.25 percent, by mass.
Ash is incombustible component of the furnace oil and is expressed as a percentage mass of the furnace oil sample. Ash consists of extraneous solids, residues of organometallic compounds in solution and salts dissolved in water present in the fuel. These salts may be compounds of sodium, vanadium, calcium magnesium, silicon, iron etc.
Ash has erosive effect on the burner tips, causes damage to the refractories at high temperatures and gives rise to high temperature corrosion and fouling of equipments.
Sulphur determination includes burning of known quantiy of oil, treating the sulphur oxidation products formed during combustion and weighing of sulphur in the form of sulphate. Heavy ends of crude distillation includes Furnace oil, Low sulphur Heavy Stock (LSHS), Residual Fuel Oil (RFO), Lube oils, Bitumen, Petroleum coke, Paraffin wax, other waxes etc.
Used as an industrial fuel, Furnace Oil (FO) is a dark viscous residual fuel obtained by blending mainly heavier components from crude distillation unit, short residue and clarified oil from fluidized catalytic cracker unit.
Internationally Furnace Oil is known as Fuel Oil and is traded in many varieties based on its specifications of viscosity and sulphur percentage. The most common varieties are 180 cst & 380 cst with 2.0% and 3.5% sulphur.
The latest estimation of world’s furnace oil production (residue/distillate) in 2004/05 is about 2500 million Metric Tons.
India’s Furnace Oil production in 2003-04 is estimated at around 8.74 million metric tons. Consumption during the period 2002-03 is 8.03 million tons while imports were about 1.26 million tons valuing Rs. 1084 crores during same period.
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The public sector refiners produce major share of furnace oil consumption requirements in India. The imports of furnace oil accounts for about 5-10% of total consumption.
Having being used across a plethora of industries, it is a very important commodity and the pricing, unlike some other petroleum products, is not administered by the government and is a freely priced commodity.
Bunker fuel, furnace oil, fuel oil are other names for the same product. Though Fuel oil is a general term applied to any oil used for generation of power or heat, Fuel oil can included distillates and blends of distillates and residue such as Light Diesel Oil.