Thomas Horst



+49 241 80 90713



Nowadays, nanotechnology is considered the modern industry’s key technology. Ranging in size from 1 to 100 nanometers, nanoparticles have become used more frequently in the production process of day-to-day consumer goods over the last years. The reason for this development lies in their special chemical and physical properties. Titanium oxide, for example, is utilized in miscellaneous skin creams because of its capacity to absorb UV radiation which is harmful to humans.

Since the usage of nanomaterials in produced goods is estimated to be 15 % for 2014 and the market continues to grow, the necessity for more information about the impact of nanoparticles on human beings and the environment is evident. In May, the project „Fate of Nanomaterials in Incineration Facilities“ will start under the coordination of the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT. Its goal is to investigate the separation behavior of consumer goods containing nanoparticles. Moreover, the impact of the thermal utilization on human beings and the environment is to be assessed.

To this end, combustion tests will be carried out at the Fraunhofer Insitute UMSICHT and TEER. Utilizing grate firing and a fluidized combustion system, several incarnations with the respective sample fuel will be executed. The company Herding will actualize the setting and the adaption of the filter media. Additionally, field trials using materials that contain nanoparticles will take place in the waste incineration plant in Weisweiler. This step will take place in close cooperation with the company Junker-Filter GmbH and FILTEq GmbH. Simultaneously, the Institute of Particle Technology at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg will be working on a model filter to examine the filter material in terms of separated nanoparticles. In conclusion, the Institute for Environmental Toxicology at the Medical Faculty of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg will research the impact of nanoparticles on the human being and the environment. That will require samples from the tests on a pilot plant scale and the practiscal trails respectively.

Scientific and technical goals of the project, among others, are:

  • Extending the knowledge of the nanoparticles’ behavior during waste incineration
  • The qualified assessment of the preservation of nano-characteristics after a thermal waste treatment
  • Securing initial qualitative and, if possible, quantitative findings about distribution paths of nanoparticles in ash, filter dust and exhaust