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Innospec’s scientists rise to the cold flow challenge

Managing diesel in cold weather creates a unique set of challenges. Refinery configuration and optimization, combined with alternative fuels, mean the fuel’s chemistry is continually changing. As a result, cold flow improver (CFI) technology always needs adapting and fine-tuning for different markets and next generation fuels.

Innospec’s world leading CFI experts collaborate on a global scale to overcome these issues. The Global R&T team works closely with the Customer Technical Services (CTS) and business teams on the ground, who are talking to customers about specific issues.

Globally, Innospec Fuel Specialties has 10 technology centres and over 75 people working in R&T and technical support. The conversations within this network make all the difference when it comes to solving problems and ultimately giving birth to new products. Understanding is shared and ideas cross-fertilized.

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Innospec continues to invest heavily in its Global R&T capabilities and has a team dedicated solely to developing the CFI technologies of tomorrow. By combining people with different backgrounds, capabilities, experience, and ages, the team has the synergy and skillset to tackle highly complex problems and question accepted thinking. It has been at the forefront of cold flow additive technology for many years. A number of its research scientists are specialists in polymer and formulation chemistry. They have dedicated their careers to cold flow technology in various testing, research, and operational roles. What drives this group forward is the opportunity to work together and collaborate across regions to develop the technologies that address potential cold flow issues in the future.

To understand the science behind Cold Flow Technology, you can download a free guide here.

At the same time Innospec’s CTS teams around the world are focussed on solving the current issues customers are experiencing in the field. They collectively handle several thousands of samples every year providing a range of support services. Whether it’s creating customized cold flow packages or giving advice on treat rates, CTS support can be called on at anytime, anywhere in the world.

For CFI technology to work effectively it must be designed around a customer’s specific requirements and the fuel blend to be treated. This all starts with a proper understanding of the fuel’s chemistry in a specific location. Armed with this knowledge, Innospec’s CTS teams can deliver the targeted support that is needed.

At Innospec’s Pencader laboratory in Newark, Delaware, US, the focus is on providing hands-on support to a wide range of customers. The team works with fuel producers and fuel terminal operators as well as fleet owners. The objective is to identify the best cold flow technology to incorporate into an additive package as well as the dosage to use, during the difficult winter months.

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The team’s laboratory has the facilities to carry out a full suite of cold flow tests to ensure products perform as expected. Each package is matched to the customer’s specific requirements and a robust quality management system is in place to maintain high manufacturing and blending standards.

Customers looking to create high end diesel fuel packages that incorporate the latest cold flow improver (CFI) technology increasingly want to see hard evidence that their fuel will perform as expected in the real world.

In addition to Cloud Point (CP), Pour Point (PP), Cold Filter Plugging Point (CFPP), Low Temperature Flow Test (LTFT), Wax Anti-Settling Additive (WASA) testing and Cold Stage Microscopy, the CTS team in the U.S. utilize an exclusive research tool that measures how a customer’s fuel responds to ultra-fine filtration across a specific range of temperatures.

The Low Temperature Operability Rig (LTOR) simulates real world experiences by utilizing filters that are similar in porosity to those found in modern diesel vehicles. The CFI additive package can then be modified, tested, and fine-tuned until it delivers exactly what the customer needs. LTOR is a unique, customizable, and powerful tool that allows the team to compare flow of CFI-treated diesel fuel through filters that are used in today’s fuel handling systems. Customers are provided with detailed supporting data that clearly demonstrates the tangible benefits of the proposed CFI additive package.

In EMEA, Innospec’s CTS team is based in Ellesmere Port, UK. It works closely with refineries throughout the region, delivering a complete package of hands-on customer care. This may require onsite visits to the refinery by an experienced lead technician, specific product advice or help with ensuring the correct dosage and product blend is being used.

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Key to this service is having a great working relationship with the customer. Some customers benefit from having a dedicated Technical Support Engineer available to work on site. This helps build up an intimate knowledge of the customer and provide a complete end-to-end solution for CFI technology that is based on local relationships and local support. This covers everything from the manufacture and supply of the additives through to in-depth laboratory analysis and extensive testing capability.

Innospec manufactures a complete range of cold flow improver and WASA fuel additives. Its middle distillate cold flow improvers (MDFI) improve the low temperature filterability of diesel by targeting CFPP. Cloud Point Depressant (CPD) and Pour Point Depressant (PPD) additives provide blending flexibility by addressing specific CP and PP issues. WASAs are an essential component for meeting certain mandatory fuel specifications as well as upgrading fuel as a brand differentiator. Contact your regional office for all product information.

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To understand the science behind Cold Flow Technology, you can download a free guide here.

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