Energy Recovery

In the field of energy recovery the ATZ Entwicklungszentrum deals with combustion, gasification and pyrolysis processes for the thermal treatment of biomass and waste. In the very well equipped thermal centre, experiments on combustion with different fuels can be realized. In our technological center, the optimal process conditions are determined according to the necessary requirements, the composition of flue gases is measured during the whole duration of the experiment and the composition of the ashes and residues are analysed.

Projects in Brazil
Hydrothermal carbonization using the deep-shaft process

Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is a process for the thermochemical conversion of biomass into a brown-coal like solid. In contrast to other processes such as pyrolysis, the HTC process takes place in an aqueous medium. There is hence no need for energy-intensive drying of the raw materials. The HTC process also operates at considerably lower temperatures of just 200°C, compared with ca. 500°C for pyrolysis.

Oil seeds and fruits are major products of the Brazilian agricultural sector. The harvesting and processing of these products result in large amounts of residual materials such as fruit skins, press-cakes, and greenery. Most of these residual materials contain a considerable amount of water, and hence have poor stability to transport and storage. For this reason, these materials have up until now only been economically recycled to a limited degree. They are however highly suitable as raw materials for the HTC process.

As part of a bilateral research project it is planned to further investigate and optimize the use of HTC for recycling residual materials from the Brazilian agricultural and food industries. The carrying out of the process in deep shafts will allow standardization of the reaction conditions due to the hydrostatic water column and will offset regional and seasonal fluctuations in the composition of the raw materials. This will enable products of uniform composition to be manufactured.

Leibniz Institute for Catalysis, Rostock; vTI-Inst. of Wood Technology and Wood Biology, Hamburg have been working in a project since 2011 funded by the German Ministry for Environment. The overall objective is the hydrothermal upgrading of pyrolysis liquids (bio-oil) using the CLC-process (catalytic liquid conversion). In the course of the project, a pilot CLC-unit will be designed and constructed.

Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Oberhausen develops applied and custom-made process engineering technologies. Within their biorefinery activities "Fraunhofer UMSICHT” is currently establishing a technical centre for biomass including also a pilot plant for ablative fast pyrolysis.

Hydrogen Technology

Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE


In the reaction between hydrogen and air-oxygen into water, useful energy is released. In a fuel cell hydrogen is converted into electricity without any emissions in a controlled and highly efficient process, whereby the generated heat produced by the reaction can also be used. 

In the area of business Hydrogen Technology we offer research services for hydrogen generation by means of reforming or electrolysis as well as for fuel cells. In co-operation with our partners in the fields of industry and research, we develop entire hydrogen systems as well as single components.

Our mission: We perform excellent applied research for environmentally friendly energy technologies for  a civil use within a motivating working atmosphere. We do so in the areas of energy carriers, energy conversion, efficient energy technologies and micro energy technology.