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Dr.-Ing. Rolf Berghoff, Dr.-Ing. J. G. Kim / ERT-Consulting - page 1 / 9





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Thermal treatment methods for waste recycling in Germany

Dr.-Ing. Rolf Berghoff, Dr.-Ing. J. G. Kim / ERT-Consulting

International Symposium Resource Recycling R&D Center / Chemistry Engineering Association in Korea

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    21 April 2006 -


Waste recycling in Germany is regulated by the national waste cycle and management act (KrW- /AbfG). Recycling under ecological and technical aspects should be prefered to land disposal. The disposal of waste with high organic content or leakage of contaminants has been prohibited since 1 June 2005 by the waste disposal act which particularly refers to domestic waste. Major aim of the legislation is to strongly reduce waste residues and to treat the problematic part by means of recycling or incineration. Therefore, energetic, material and raw material recycling are to be applied commonly in order to meet the requirements. Lately, much effort is made to advance thermal treatment technology in Germany. Therefore, the following speech contains a survey of gasification and pyrolysis methods for material/raw material as well as energetic recycling.

Key words:

  • Legal initial position

  • Thermal processes for utilization (recycling)

  • Material -, raw material-recycling, energetic recycling

  • Masses and energy balances

  • Permission of the plant

  • View

1. Legal Requirements to Recycling

In Germany wastes with higher content of organic material should not be disposed on landfill. Under „Waste Storage Ordinance“ from 20.02.2001 there are the following limits for the loss of ignition

Disposal site class I Disposal site class II

max 3 % max 5 %

Wastes, which exceed these values, are to been incinerated or – if possible - recycled. At the recycling you have to differ between:

  • material-recycling (the use of the unchanged material)

  • raw material-recycling

(the use of a raw material, which is produced of the waste in a special process)

  • energetic-recycling (the use of the energy content of the material in thermal processes).

General there is no priority for one kind of recycling. But there exists some exceptions: In Germany – as in other countries of the European Union – there are special wastes with high calorific values, which have to be recycled as material in legal fixed contingents. However the raw material recycling is equally allowed. Here are two examples for legal required waste recycling in the German waste law.

(1) End-of-Life Vehicles Act, 21 June 2002

From January 2006 recovery and reuse of at least 85 % of the material of end-of-life vehicles (10 % material recycling of the non-metallic components from dismantling, 70 % metal-recovery, 5 % of material- or energetic-recycling of the light fraction from shredders (SLF)).

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