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

Heat Biomass furnace

Project ID 03EI5418

LaubCycle - Establishment of a sustainable material and energy cycle for foliage as a biogenic residue on municipal level


  • 01.04.2021 – 31.03.2024


Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT
Osterfelder Straße 3
46047 Oberhausen

Andreas Huft – project leader
Telephone: +49-(0)208 8598-1170


03EI5418B - City Schortens
  • Address:
  • City Schortens
    Oldenburger Straße 29
    26419 Schortens
  • Contact:
  • Frank Schweppe – depot manager
    Telephone: +49 (0)4461 743696

    Karsten Töpel – climate protection manager
    Telephone: +49-(0)4461 982-138

03EI5418C - Franz-Josef Kipp GmbH & Co. KG

Associated partners

Cooperation partners



Planned results:

  • plant level: procedures
  • concept level: plant concept
  • data leve: method (analytical/process descriptive etc.), test series/-program
  • publications: guidelines and manuals, sientific paper (ISI, peer-reviewed)
  • others: best-practice-solutions


Foliage accumulates in large quantities seasonally in autumn and is usually composted. At the same time, foliage is undesirable at composting plants due to poor composting properties. These circumstances affect particularly municipalities and cities, which have to remove foliage from the municipality and city area in the course of securing traffic routes. In return, foliage offers good combustion properties after pre-treatment and is therefore in principle suitable as fuel, especially in decentralized combustion systems in the range of 400 kWth to approx. 10 MWth, which are used for local and largely CO2-neutral heat supply. Challenges of foliage incineration are inhomogeneous composition with sometimes considerable ash content (soil, stones, sand) of up to 50%, variable moisture content depending on the weather and the collection method, and highly seasonal occurrence in autumn.


The aim of the research project “LaubCycle” is to establish a closed cycle of foliage within a community, while generating the required amount of climate-neutral energy (heat, possibly electricity) and returning the nutrients contained in the foliage. Furthermore, the project aims on the development and optimization of a treatment process from an economic point of view at a commercial green waste recycling company. This enables perspectively municipalities as well as waste disposal and processing companies to expand the range of fuels and products by a cost-efficient "new" fuel for energy supply systems. Furthermore, the nutrients in the ashes can be used in composts, which can be applied to municipal, agricultural and private areas.


Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT

Survey of foliage detection methods, sampling campaigns and identification of optimal technology, cost analysis of foliage processing, analysis of circular use of foliage and ash and evaluation of energetic use, evaluation of combustion tests, transferability of results

City Schortens

Survey of foliage detection methods, sampling campaigns, manufacturing of testing fuels, combustion tests, evaluation and registration, processing and combustion

Franz-Josef Kipp GmbH & Co. KG

Development of foliage treatment methodology and preparation of storage concepts, manufacturing of testing fuels, economic evaluation


Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT

Material flow analysis and optimization to establish a sustainable material and energy cycle for the biogenic residue of foliage at the municipal level

City Schortens

Investigations on the collection, processing and energetic use of foliage fractions using the example of a municipality.

Franz-Josef Kipp GmbH & Co. KG

Investigations on the preparation and storage of communal foliage fractions for the production of a biogenic fuel


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