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Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Thermo-Catalytic Reforming

The thermo-catalytic reforming approach (TCR) converts 65 different types of organic waste and residues into high quality syngas, bio-oil, biochar and water. Dried feedstock is slowly heated by external flue gas to carbonize the material. Subsequently, it is thermally cracked into a vapor containing gas, oil and water. After catalytic reforming using biochar, the four products of the process can be easily segregated by their aggregate state and phase separation. The steam reforming of water and carbon increases the yield of a hydrogen-rich syngas for a subsequent Fischer-Tropsch process. Since 2015, Fraunhofer UMSICHT has been operating a test facility in Sulzbach-Rosenberg that has a throughput of 300 kg biomass per hour producing ~30 L of green fuel per hour. A large-scale demonstration plant, built as part of the EU funded Horizon2020 project TO-SYN-FUEL (throughput 500 kg biomass per hour) has been fully operational in Hohenburg (Germany) since 2021 and the conversion of dried sewage sludge to TCR-oil successfully demonstrated.