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A Guide To Lube Oil Purifier

A ship has hundreds of machinery and systems which helps in its day to day operations.

Lubrication plays a vital role in smooth running of these machineries by overcoming and reducing heat, neutralizing acid combustion by-products, preventing scuffing, lessening friction and thereby combating wear and tear between two running surfaces.

The main engine lube oil system on ships ensure lubrication of the main bearings through pumping of lube oil by duplex oil filters, to the crossheads, and guides, piston cooling and bottom end bearings through the swivel jointed pipes in the engine casings.

The engine cylinders have their own lube oil system, which lubricates the surfaces between the cylinder wall and the piston rings through a set of concentric nozzles or quills fitted around the cylinder liner.

It is imperative to maintain the lubricating oil’s properties and to ensure it is in good condition.

This is executed by the watchkeeping engineer who is responsible for carrying out proficient engine room watch especially, on lube-oil temperature, pressure and the condition of oil.

The common contamination of the lube oil can occur because of:

  • Jacket Water Leaking

  • Cooler Leakage

  • Fuel Contamination through Poor Atomization of fuel and unburnt fuel.

  • High Exhaust Temperature, Burned Cylinder Oil, Carbon from incomplete combustion and products of fuel composition

  • Scale formation, wear and tear and biological contamination.

Such contamination need to be purified to maintain the quality of lube oil throughout as the quality of lube oil determines equipment lifetime and its productivity.

As impure lube oil leads to:

  • Reduction in fuel efficiency.

  • Corrosion on mechanical parts.

  • Increase in acid formation in trunk type piston engine.

  • Reduce Load Carrying capacity

  • Microbial Degradation

  • Case Crankcase Explosion.

Therefore, we need Lube oil purifier on ships for proper purification of lube oil with minimum throughput or batch purification in case of heavy contamination.

There are three ways in which lube oil purification can be done:

  • centrifugation,

  • filtration and

  • coalescence.

A high-speed centrifugal purifier is installed on a ship to get rid of the unwanted contaminants and pollutants from the lube oil.

On ships, separate marine purifiers are used for fuel and lube oil. Lube oil is purified only through centrifugation while the fuel oil uses both centrifugation and gravity separation.

On ships, it is also referred to as Centrifuge. It is a purifier that separates two liquid substances based on their difference in density with the use of gravity disc to separate solid and water and sealing water as an operator with two-holed lower discs; one for water and other for oil.

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