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The core of the new fuel evaporator is the catalyst on a metal grid.
© Fraunhofer ISE
Vapourisation process

A conventional gas burner burns oil vapour.
© Fraunhofer ISE

Oil vapour burner combined with natural gas technology

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) are developing an oil vapour burner that enables conventional heating oil to be burnt in a modern condensing gas boiler device. In contrast to conventional oil burners, the new system can be regulated across a wide output range. It is intended to work with low emissions and provide economic benefits.

The oil vapour burner consists of an oil evaporator and a gas burner, as typically used in modern condensing gas boiler devices. The core of the new process is a catalytic process developed at Fraunhofer ISE, which can vapourise heating oil and other liquid hydrocarbons without leaving any residues. The gaseous fuel mixes so homogenously with the combustion air that the mixture can be burnt in conventional gas burners without having to retrofit them. The oil evaporator is simply connected between the oil tank and the gas heating device. Thanks to the cleaner combustion, the new process reduces the emissions and maintenance costs relative to conventional oil heating devices.

Burner capacity can be regulated as required

“One advantage of the oil vapourisation is that the gas burner can be modulated, in other words operated with a capacity adjusted to the requirements,” explains Robert Szolak, head of the research project. “This enables it to not just cover the high output requirements for heating hot water but also provide the low heating capacity required in modern low energy houses.”

Initial investigations on gas burners have shown that the emission values in the entire modulation range of 5 to 15 kilowatts of thermal power lie beneath the prescribed limits. This is also helped by the broadness of this modulation range, which reduces the number of burner starts. The nitrogen oxide emissions are also considerably reduced relative to standard oil burners. Both the DIN EN 267 standard and the First Federal Emissions Control Ordinance are met. The oil vapour burner is also suitable for installation in living spaces since it runs more quietly than conventional oil burners. Together with the specialist company Umicore, the researchers are jointly developing a catalyst that meets the high service life requirements for heating systems.

Uniform product line

“The new process also provides advantages for the manufacturers of heating devices,” says a convinced Robert Szolak. “Until now it is not just the burners that have differed but also the combustion chambers for the gas and oil. With the oil evaporator, uniform product lines for gas combustion can also be used for oil.” That reduces the manufacturing costs and the range of applications for oil vapour burners is not limited to heating oil. All liquid hydrocarbons such as diesel, biodiesel and vegetable oil are suitable.



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Project management
Fraunhofer ISE

Industrial partners
Herrmann GmbH u. Co. KG

Industrial partners

Industrial partners
Umicore AG & Co. KG