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DGMK-Project Fuel Oils

Limitation of Microbial Degradation of Middle Distillates

2019 until 2022
Research Center
OWI Science for Fuels gGmbH
RWTH Aachen Institute of Biology IV (Applied Microbiology, iAMB)
RWTH Aachen UBC Institute for Biology V (Environmental Research)
IGF Plan
20840 N
Reason and Goal

Research on the microbiological degradation of middle distillates, especially with biogenic components, has been carried out for many years. Within the two previous projects, the identification of microorganisms in storage tanks, the definition of growth-relevant parameters, and the influence of microbes on materials and middle distillates were in the foreground. In addition, the identification of secreted metabolites as well as the investigation of resulting micro-emulsions were investigated. Up until now, the influence of different compositions of middle distillates has been neglected, also in international research groups. Particularly in view of the growing share of alternative substitutes in the fuel mix or the integration of de-fossilised middle distillates as pure components, the development of avoidance strategies, but also the development of screening methods in the field of biological degradation capacity is necessary.


Within this research project the influence of different compositions of middle distillates has to be investigated. Based on the results of the two direct previous projects, the corresponding analysis tools are available to investigate a broad matrix. By the extension of e.g. the passive dosing method or the 2D-GC-MS analysis, more detailed information about the metabolic pathways and the differences of the used fuels can be obtained. The aim of the research project must be to develop effective avoidance strategies and to characterise them according to their effectiveness. While on the one hand potentially critical components can be identified through chemical-biological investigations, a second part of the project will investigate possible system modifications to the burner system in order to minimise microbiological growth.


The DGMK research report was published.

Project Status

Research Report
0,00 €
Project Chairperson

Dr. Richard Wicht


AGQM Biodiesel Quality Management Working Group

Project Coordinator

Jan Ludzay

Head of the Refining and Product Application Department

Nadine Ludzay

Coordination Refining and Product Application


IGF - Industrial Collective Research

Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection