Welcome to the Oel-Waerme-Institut

OWI provides research services investigating and developing concepts and new technologies for heat and power generation on a basis of fossil and renewable fuels. It aims at developing energy-efficient and environmentally friendly products which are marketable. At the same time, OWI cooperates closely with industrial partners and research institutes and sees itself as an mediator between fundamental and applied research. OWI is a non-profit organisation and an acknowledged institute affiliated to RWTH Aachen University.


IGCS Winter School 2016 –
The sustainable production of liquid biofuels and their application

28th April 2016 – How can biodiesel be produced in efficient manner, environmentally friendly and cost-effectively? Which chemical-physical properties are relevant for the storage and stability of biodiesel? Which aspects of the sustainability in respect to the production and utilization of biodiesel need to pay a special attention? During the IGCS Winter School at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) in Chennai (February 22 – March 4, 2016), 30 students became familiar with these and other questions. The key issues were the production, characterization and utilization of liquid biofuels, particularly in relation to biodiesel as well as the related technological challenges and political aspects. … More

Heating with pyrolysis oil –
EU-Project aims to use biomass residues in residential heating market

25th April 2016 – The objective of a recently started EU research project called “Residue2Heat” is to use various streams of biomass waste for residential heat generation. The aim is, by means of a liquid fuel produced in a sustainable manner from agricultural and forestry biomass residues to considerable reduce the CO2 emissions in the heating market compared to fossil fuels. This 2nd generation bio-fuel, is being produced employing the fast pyrolysis process using a wide variety of biomass residues as feedstock. An international consortium of research institutions and SMEs involving Oel-Waerme-Institute will examine the standardization and the use of FPBO in the heating market and optimize a condensing heating system for the use of this new kind of fuel. … More

Test of the no-harm-criteria of additives –
Studies on effectiveness and on minimum requirements

19th April 2016 – Within the scope of a research project, the Oel-Waerme-Institut examines the effectiveness of mineral oil additives and their fulfillment of minimum requirements (no-harm-criteria) in additized fuels. Additives serve quality assurance and fulfill specific functions, for instance by improving the oxidation stability of mineral oil products or by protecting metallic surfaces against corrosion. The focus is on the question to what extent the increasing diversification and aging processes of fuels during their storage affect the effectiveness of additives or even have negative effects due to unexpected interactions. … More

Thermal power stations could become more efficient and economic –
New reformate gas engine technology increases electrical efficiency by at least 10 %

15th February 2016 – Small combined heat and power (CHP) plants in the power range of 50kW electric could be driven more economically in the future. This is possible due to the reformer technology, which produces energetically higher quality fuel gas from natural gas and steam, in parallel to the combustion engine’s operation. The principle origins from the steam reforming of diesel fuel and was transferred to the reformate gas engine. The created fuel gas (reformate) consists of hydrogen, methane, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide and is fed directly into the engine. By that, less fuel is needed and the system’s electrical overall efficiency increases significantly. The highlight of the reformate gas engine is, that no additional external power is necessary, because the required heat for the reforming process is taken from the hot engine exhaust. … More

Oel-Waerme-Institut reorganizes itself –
Non-profit research for fuels continues to be the focus

17th November 2015 – The OWI Oel-Waerme-Institut GmbH has been reorganized to be prepared for the future. With the founding of the TEC4FUELS GmbH, the affiliated institute of the RWTH Aachen receives a 100-percent parent company. Shareholders of the TEC4FUELS GmbH are the Institut für Wärme und Oeltechnik (IWO) and Dr. Klaus Lucka. The focus on non-profit research projects and strategic basic research around liquid energy carriers shall be assured in the future. Within this new structure and the connection to the RWTH Aachen as an affiliated institute the OWI still represents scientific excellence. The OWI’s scientific advisory board and its management by Prof. Dr. Herbert Pfeifer remain unchanged. … More

Coking of fluid fuels –
New procedure shall analyze and avoid reasons

6th November 2015 – In heating appliances, diesel engines and other technical systems driven by fluid fuels and lubricants, combustion can lead to growing undesirable deposits (coking), which may affect the functionality of the system. Deposits arise during the evaporation of fuels on hot surfaces. The detailed processes are unclear. Within a common research project, the chair for Analytical Chemistry of the University Rostock and the Oel-Waerme-Institut (OWI) want to get to the bottom of the reasons for deposit formation in modern combustion systems. … More

Deposits in diesel-injectors –
New test shall replace XUD9 and DW10

15th September 2015 – A newly developed non-engine test bench for diesel fuel with different biofuel content is able to reproduce deposits in diesel injectors under realistic circumstances. The test method, which is used for investigations of the increasingly observed “internal diesel injector deposits” (IDID), shall replace the currently used tests XUD9 and DW10 for the evaluation of additives in No-Harm trials, because they are either expensive or no longer represent the latest technology. … More

Operating industrial furnaces with biogenic fuels –
GWI and OWI develop “biological burner”

27th August 2015 – Within a joint research project, the Gas und Wärme-Institut Essen e. V. (GWI) and the Oel-Waerme-Institut (OWI) want to develop a combined biofuel burner for the production of industrial process heat. The burner shall not only burn low calorific gas but also fluid biogenic fuels, such as vegetable oil, in an effective and safe way while producing low emissions. Development tasks include a (partly) premixing evaporation concept for conventional and biogenic liquid fuels. … More

Fuel cells in diesel operation –
System successfully tested

13th May 2015 – The research partners inhouse engineering, Enasys, MAHLE Behr GmbH & Co. KG and the Oel-Waerme-Institute (OWI) achieved an important milestone in the project completion for the development of a modular, diesel driven fuel cell system: The system’s functionality has been successfully demonstrated in the isolated operation of the fuel cell stack and of the electronics module. The fuel cell system consists of a diesel and water tank, a fuel gas generator module and a fuel cell module including a low-temperature-PEM-fuel cell (LT-PEM) with 90 cells, as well as a battery and power electronics. … More


Service und Infopool


For companies that are interested in a quick overview of the research and development at OWI and want to know what OWI can do for them, this is the right place … more


OWI offers a wide range of training opportunities for students and career opportunities for junior scientists. We are always looking for student assistants; we provide options and topics for writing academic papers and for a PhD on the basis of a scholarship … more

Jobs and Career

OWI is always looking for young talents and experienced employees for the scientific and commercial sector and offers various possibilities for starting a career and different career prospects as well as individual and personal training opportunities … more