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Press release

TAF hands over pyrolysis plant to Fraunhofer IKTS

Successful commissioning of the pilot plant for plastics recycling

Pyrolysis reactor

External view of the pyrolysis plant

Detailed view of the pyrolysis reactor

TAF Thermische Apparate Freiberg GmbH (TAF), a company of the Pörner Group, has received an order from the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS for a pilot plant for the pyrolysis of plastics in August 2021. The specialist for thermochemical conversion technologies is thus making its contribution to the topic of plastics recycling. The pyrolysis plant was successfully commissioned at the research institute in July 2023.

With decades of process expertise in gasification technology, TAF was responsible for the planning, engineering, construction, delivery, commissioning and documentation of the pyrolysis plant. The plant is located on the institute premises of the Fraunhofer IKTS in Freiberg, just 100 meters from the TAF production hall, which meant that the team always had an overview of the entire process.

The plant will enable Fraunhofer IKTS to thermally process a wide range of organic materials – such as plastics – into synthesis gas using a low-temperature gasifier, also known as pyrolysis reactor. The Fraunhofer IKTS received funding from the Free State of Saxony for the acquisition.

The pyrolysis process: from waste to resource

The pyrolysis of a wide variety of feedstock and mixtures of plastics and residual materials with a throughput of up to 100 kg/h and max. 2.0 t/d is carried out in the pyrolysis reactor at temperatures of around 500 degrees. The reactor is electrically heated from the outside. The pyrolysis coke, pyrolysis gas and condensates must be sampled and disposed of in a technically safe manner in accordance with permit requirements. Approximately 25-30 % of the feedstock is converted to gas during thermal treatment, i.e. pyrolysis, and the remainder is collected as solids.

In addition to residual materials, plastic waste from households (e.g. the "yellow bag"), shredder light fraction from car disposal, composite materials or even torrefied biomass can be thermally processed. With the pilot plant, the Fraunhofer IKTS is gaining important knowledge for research and up-scaling to industrial scale.

TAF Managing Director Daniel Ullmann is pleased to be able to contribute to the sustainable use of plastics: "Our decades of experience in the pyrolysis of a wide range of raw materials have been put to good use here. The research results will certainly help increasing the conversion from residual materials into recyclable materials. For example, it will be possible to process plastic waste from the oceans. It is great that, together with Fraunhofer IKTS, we have been able to contribute to more sustainability in the use of plastics."


Lydia Brandtner

Head of Marketing Pörner Group

Tel.: +43 5 05899-718