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"Gas to Liquid" for combustion engines at Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences


Laboratory for Thermal Power and Working Machines uses  more environmentally friendly fuel in teaching operations

In the search for environmentally friendly drives for vehicles and ships, synthetic fuels can be a solution for conventional combustion engines. The classic diesel has now also been banned from the laboratory for thermal power and working machines at Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences. Instead, the machines are operated with "gas to liquid" (GTL). The changeover ensures significantly lower pollutant emissions in the student laboratory exercises. 

GTL is a synthetic fuel that is produced from natural gas in a special process. It differs from mineral diesel fuel in that it has a very low sulphur content, a lower density and very good ignition characteristics. "GTL burns cleaner and with slightly better efficiency. The fact that it no longer contains sulphur means that no sulphur dioxide can be produced, which is responsible for acid rain. In addition, no fine dust is produced during combustion, as is usually the case with diesel vehicles. This makes it more environmentally friendly than conventional fuels. An additional advantage is that GTL can also be produced synthetically as a green fuel," says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Werner, head of the Laboratory for Thermal Power and Working Machines.

Laboratory exercises on the large combustion engines take place regularly in the bachelor's degree courses in ship operation technology and engineering. The Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences already tested operation with the synthetic fuel at the beginning of 2020. Fuel supplier HGM Energy GmbH provided several hundred litres of GTL for comparative emission measurements and laboratory tests. The changeover to the fuel, which has now taken place, benefits not only the environment, but also the students. "This way they learn how to deal with new technologies and sustainable, CO2-free energy sources. This is a real added value for their professional development, but also for the companies in which they will later work," says Prof. Werner.

Due to dwindling energy and raw material resources and the increasing demands in climate protection, the responsibility in the area of energy supply is increasing considerably. In order to meet the demands of continued security of supply and increased competitiveness, the careful use of resources, the integration of alternative energies and increased efficiency are indispensable. In the specialisation Plant Operation Technology-Energy Technology in the degree programme Engineering (ING), technical plants for energy supply and energy conversion are dealt with, including the necessary auxiliary equipment. The focus is on climate protection and sustainability. Further information can be found at

Marine Engineering (SBT) is the oldest degree programme at Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences. It qualifies graduates as marine engineers for the technical, operational and personnel management of machinery on board ships and on land. Close contacts with shipping companies, shipyards and the machine industry ensure that the course content is up to date. Further information can be found at

Applications for these and other courses of study are still possible until 15 September.

Further information is available at