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Thermal engineering

The thermal engineering laboratories is the nation's leading laboratory in the field of combustion, refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump, low-temperature and bio processes and CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) and processing.

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Thermal engineering laboratory
Detail from the Thermal engineering laboratory. Photo: SINTEF/Thor Nielsen

The laboratories have advanced equipment for applied research and testing in the field of all of these subject areas. The thermal engineering laboratories has performed a comprehensive upgrade of all infrastructures in order to meet the major challenges that modern research requires. The new facilities now meet the highest standards in the field of safety and environmental issues within the whole field of research.



Biomass is the only renewable carbon source and can therefore be used for production of renewable fuels and chemicals.

Combustion and Burner Technology

Combustion of fuels like natural gas, wood, gasoline and coal is the main source of heat and power worldwide, both in industry and in our private lives. Combustion is also the main source of pollutant emissions to the atmosphere, such as NOx, SOx, CO...

CCS Value Chain

CCS chains are case and scenario sensitive, and each case often requires individual design for reaching the optimal solution. The main objective is to develop a consistent and transparent methodology and simulation tool for integrated techno-economic...

CFD - Computational Fluid Dynamics

The CFD group at SINTEF Energy Research has more than 30 years of experience in performing numerical modelling of chemically reactive processes in laminar and turbulent flows consisting of single-phase (gaseous fuels combustion) or multi-phase (solid...

CO2 as working fluid

CO2 has gone through a renaissance as refrigerant due to the need to replace the chemical refrigerants with highly negative environmental impact. The main applications where CO2 systems has been commercialized so far are heat pump water heaters (heat...

CO2 capture

At the Gas Technology Department we conduct research into the various methods of CO2 capture. Some methods are approaching industrial maturity, while others are in the early development phase.

CO2 injection

CO2 capture and storage is one of the most important contributions to reducing the world’s CO2 emissions. CO2 can be stored in geological formations far below ground or the sea floor. We investigate how CO2 can be pumped through wells and into these...

CO2 transport

CO2 capture and storage (CCS) is one of the most important ways to reduce global CO2 emissions. Since CO2 will usually not be captured and stored at the same place, we will in the near future have to transport large quantities of CO2, mostly by...

Combustion processes for CO2 capture technolgy

We have accumulated more than 15 years experience in new combustion processes based on the use of unconventional fuels (rich in hydrogen) and new oxidizers like oxyfuel mixtures which are common in power and industrial technologies with CO2 Capture...

Detailed process modelling

SINTEF Energy Research has extensive experience in the development and use of numerical models for simulation of chemical reactive processes in laminar and turbulent flow for both single- (gas combustion) and multi-phase (gas/solid fuel) systems.

Ferrofluid and nanofluid heat transfer

We investigate and develop ways of creating more efficient and reliable cooling systems using nanofluids and magnetic nanofluids (ferrofluids). These can be used for instance for cooling of power electronics, personal computers and solar cells, and...

Flow phenomena

We develop specialized models and methods related to the flow of gases and liquids, and which is unavailable in commercial software. We have several in-house 1D and 3D CFD codes. Furthermore, we take part in the design of laboratory set-ups to be...

Fuel Characterization and Emissions

Fuel characterization is the primary and a critical step in the evaluation of biomass and waste feedstocks' suitability for a thermal conversion process. Detailed and accurate characterization is especially important for proper utilization of...


Biomass gasification coupled with catalytic synthesis or heat and power production has been identified as one of the most promising technologies addressing the 1.5 global temperature target.

Geothermal energy systems

Geothermal energy systems cover systems for both shallow and deep geothermal wells. Shallow geothermal boreholes, 50 - 200 m, are used as heat source or sink for heat pumping systems.

Heat Exchange

We have extensive experience in developing detailed heat exchanger models for various industrial purposes. The models have a level of detail that is suitable for linking and use with various process simulation tools to study how given designs will...

Heat Pump Technology

SINTEF has extensive and versatile competence in development of heat pump technology. We have more than 60 years' experience within research and development of heat pump technology.

Hydrothermal liquefaction - HTL

The HTL conversion process occurs in liquid phase, with water used as the reactive medium. During the process, the feedstock decomposes forming solids, a liquid phase, consisting of aqueous and oily streams and a small amount of gas.

Improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings

SINTEF is a leader in the field of improving energy efficiency in shops and other energy-intensive buildings by means of its participation in projects such as 'CREATIV', 'INTERACT' and 'SuperSmart-Rack', among others.

Integral system analysis

Integral system analysis is a robust tool for evaluating the feasibility of technologies and their integration in value-chains under industrial environments. Integral system analysis can be applied to all Technology Readiness Levels (TRL).

Liquefaction of hydrogen

During the last 10 to 15 years, SINTEF Energy Research has been working with both the liquefaction of hydrogen and value chains in which liquid hydrogen is incorporated into either part or the whole of the chain in question.

LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas)

For many decades, SINTEF Energy Research has combined with NTNU to develop components and systems linked to the use of liquefied natural gas. LNG is currently used extensively as a long-distance transport means for natural gas.

Local heating and cooling plants

The use of local heating and cooling plants has obtained new interest in light of the "energy crisis". In Norway several plants are under construction and there are plans to build more.

CO2 Condensation

Condensation of CO2 in heat exchangers and separators occurs in processes for liquefaction of a CO2-rich gas phase, for example to increase purity of the gas, to meet ship transportation specification.

Oil, Gas, Water Separation

We have extensive experience with developing and executing projects related to oil/gas/water separation relevant for electrocoalescence separation, the liquefaction processes of natural gas, and developing potential studies related to subsea...

Process optimization

We collaborate with land-based process and metallurgical industries as well as oil and gas companies in order to improve their processes and reduce associated emissions and costs.

Process and gas technology

In the field of process technology, we are currently working with theoretical analysis, modelling and simulation, combined with experimental approaches to the analysis, design and optimisation of industrial gas processes and efficient energy...


Pyrolysis of biomass has grown significantly as a research area the last decade. SINTEF carries out basic and applied research within pyrolysis of biomass for increased process understanding and production of upgraded fuels.

Heat to Power Conversion

SINTEF has a wide experimental and numerical expertise in all the main aspects within development of technology for converting heat to electrical power; heat exchange and heat capture, process development, system design, experimental activity and...


We are working to determine and predict the transport-related and thermodynamic properties of fluids. This knowledge is essential in order to optimize design and operation of processing equipment used in the energy sector.


Torrefaction is a thermochemical process for pretreatment of biomass.

Wood stove technology

Since the beginning of the eighties SINTEF has accumulated an extensive and versatile competence within development of small-scale heating technologies for the residential sector through solid biomass combustion, e.g. within pellets- and wood stove...

Contact information

The laboratory is co-located with the laboratories at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)