Greener heating oil: BDH and IWO start practical test

Monday, May 17, 2021

The Federal Association of the German Heating Industry (BDH) and the Institute for Heat and Mobility (IWO) are jointly using a new variant of greenhouse gas-reduced heating oil. As part of a practical test of at least two years, a total of 21 residential buildings will be supplied with a so-called R33 fuel combination, one third of which consists of greenhouse gas-reduced components. The aim is to test their operational maturity

"There are around 5.5 million oil heating systems throughout Germany. For technical or financial reasons, many of these heaters cannot be easily replaced by other heating systems. And that's not necessary at all, because oil-heated buildings can also achieve the climate goals. By increasing efficiency – for example by modernising with condensing boiler technology and building insulation – as well as the installation of hybrid technology, the fuel requirement can be greatly reduced. The remaining quantities could then be covered by the use of increasingly greenhouse gas-reduced fuels," explains IWO Managing Director Adrian Willig.

"Oil condensing boilers often remain a suitable solution for the urgently needed replacement of the almost 4.8 million obsolete inefficient oil boilers, especially since oil condensing boilers marked with efficiency class A are in many cases combined with the renewable energy solar thermal energy. If such a plant is also operated with greenhouse gas-reduced liquid energy sources, it has an excellent CO2 footprint," says BDH Managing Director Andreas Lücke. "Assuming availability and suitable framework conditions, such systems can make an important contribution to achieving the climate goals."

IWO Pressegrafik Oel Weiter Denken Loesungen Fuer Mehr Klimaschutz Print
In three steps into the future: Increasing efficiency with modern technology, using renewable energies and refuelling greenhouse gas-reduced fuels - this is how buildings achieve the climate targets even with oil heating.

Second-generation biofuels

26 percent of the R33 fuel combination used in the new joint project consists of hydrogenated residues, so-called second-generation waste-based biofuels, the production of which does not compete with food cultivation. Since 2017, IWO has been using such paraffinic fuels without any problems as an admixture to classic heating oil in a smaller number of its own model projects. In the project, which has now been launched together with the heating appliance industry, the fuel mix used will be expanded by a 7 percent share of esterified biooils, so-called FAME. Since the two renewable fuel components together account for 33 percent, the mixture is also referred to as R33 fuel. If this combination also proves successful in practice, it would further increase the range of liquid energy sources suitable for oil heating, greenhouse gases.

The project is scheduled to run until 2022, with an option to extend it by one year. The companies Bosch Thermotechnology with Buderus, Dehoust, Viessmann, Weishaupt and Wolf support the project with their own field test facilities, other companies such as Danfoss with know-how and component-related questions. The practical test is closely linked to a transnational project of the European Association of the European Heating Industry (EHI) and the European heating oil association Eurofuel.