Project meeting of STEP at the site of the company ATS - Agro Trading & Solutions in Hardegsen (Photo: DBFZ)

Biomass gasification

Project ID 03KB053

Achental - Optimization of regional biofuel provision circuits for energy plants, exemplified at the Biomass Trade Center Achental

Agnion wood gasifier (Photo: Agnion)


  • 01.12.2010 – 31.08.2013


Biomassehof Achental GmbH & Co.KG
Eichelreuth 20
83224 Grassau

Wimmer, Wolfgang – Project director
Telephone:  +49(0) 8641 694143-20
Fax: +49(0) 8641 694143-21

Josef Huber – direct contact person
Telephone: +49(0) 8641 694143-15

Bernhard Schauberger – scientific assistance
Telephone: +49(0) 8641 694143-0


03KB053B - agnion Technologies GmbH

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Cooperation partners



Results only available in German.


The Biomass Trade Center (BTC) Achental aims at converting the lignite and currently unused residual material from the region into multi-purpose energetic matter. The BTC is a role model with respect to community cooperation and public-private partnership. Regarding the potential of this residual matter, an internal survey of the BTC numbers the regional potential of land care material (municipal lop, roadside vegetation, etc.) alone to approx. 6400 tatro/a, corresponding to a heat capacity of approx. 28GWh. However, multiple efforts including logistics, storage, drying and suitable conditioning are necessary to utilize this potential. The resulting products could be introduced on the market by the BTC, developing a new business area in the region. The applicability and design of the conditioned fuels for various energy plants should be tested within this project. The BTC Achental currently provides biomass for several different facilities, which range from conventional pellet combustion plants in private households to biomass heat plants in hotels. Alongside these small facilities a large-scale biomass heat plant in Grassau with attached district heat is supplied with wood chips since early 2010. Additionally, the construction of a wood gasification plant (the so-called agnion Heat Ripe Reformer) is under way, conducted by agnion Operating Ltd. This engine is designed to produce both electricity and heat and is already well-tested in a pilot plant. Due to the broad usage of biomass with different conversion technologies, the BTC Achental is an ideal site for concept development and testing and also for implementation of regional biomass circuits.


This project contributes effectively to the German federal government’s aims of expanding renewable energies until 2020. It is clear that the assigned role of bioenergy in these aims can only be fulfilled if the basis of usable biomass is extended decidedly. This in particular includes biomass currently unused due to its low quality or fragmented and decentral quantity, which could be brought into usage by adequate logistics and conditioning. Among other goals this project tries to replace the standardized, but expensive, wood pellets utilized in wood gasification by regionally produced wood chips. To produce these, biomass of different quality should be considered and appropriately processed. This energy carrier substitution allows a distinctly more economic and CO2-reduced operation of the gasification plant. Thus the expected sustainable, long-lasting and reliable strategy of biomass usage is developed and applied.


Biomass yard Achental

  • Step 1: Construction of the agnion Heatpipe Reformer wood gasification plant, executed by agnion Ltd. (Pfaffenhofen a. d. Ilm). Sideways, theoretical studies are performed to assess capacities and limitations of the regional circuits.
  • Step 2: Demonstration, testing and optimization phase, with a special focus on the usage of regional residual material (land care material, etc.) and maximum exploitation of the waste heat in place.
  • Step 3: Acquisition of the plant by BTC Achental and further operation as official demonstration project. The financing of this action is realized with a public participation fund organized by Green City Energy, a specialist in this realm.


Agnion will conduct studies for the evaluation of the fuel quality and feasibility for gasification and combined heat and power production. Fuel feeding issues shall be overcome by a fuel compacting unit. On a test series with the Heatpipe-Reformer power plant the economic impact and energy balance of these fuels will be evaluated. Furthermore, a feasibility study of SNG production with the Heatpipe-Reformer technology using local biomass waste fuels in a follow up project at Oberlausitz will be conducted.


Biomass yard Achental

The main focus oft the project lies on the usage of only regional and residual lignite material. Additionally a scientific basis should be formed, supporting the development of practical and economic arrangements.


  • Build up an optimized fuel supply chain for the use of local biomass of different quality
  • Promote local economy
  • Development of economic fuel upgrading unit
  • Utilize upgraded fuels in agnion Heatpipe-Reformer combined heat and power plant


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