In the project, the researchers are looking at, for example, fatty acid methyl esters based on different biogenic raw materials, paraffinic fuels, an alcohol (octanol) and a sulfur- and aromatics-free gas-to-liquid fuel, all of which have different physicochemical properties. In particular, the study focuses on the causes and extent of interactions between the increasing variety of alternative fuels and conventional heating oil. The interactions include, for example, possible deposits on fuel-carrying components, such as in the mixture formation unit of oil heating systems, which can occur when using aged fuels after prolonged storage. The chemical-physical causes of this have not yet been fully elucidated.
For the investigation, OWI is further developing a test rig from a previous project that allows experiments on the evaporation of fuels on metallic nonwovens, so that operation with different power levels and operating states is possible. To better understand the phenomena at the molecular level, the University of Rostock is further developing analytical methods such as fast gas chromatography and an ionization method for mass spectrometry. They will help uncover the differences in coking tendency between fuels and identify the chemical compound groups responsible.
On the one hand, the development of strategies for high operational reliability and component lifetime can consist of an optimization of the chemical composition of the fuels for use in technical equipment by fuel manufacturers. For this purpose, additives can also be specifically developed further or newly, which can prevent possible deposits or dissolve them again. On the other hand, manufacturers of burners or burner components can optimize their components, for example by modifying the materials or the operating strategy.