The new TA Luft - time to take a deep breath

Donau Carbon
The German Federal Council has approved the new version of the first general administrative regulation for the Federal Immission Control Act (Technical Instructions for Air Quality Control - TA Luft). This will come into force on December 1st, 2021. It's about time, because the previous version of the TA Luft dates back to 2002!
The new specifications and tightening serve to protect people and the environment from harmful pollution. In addition, the solutions from Donau Carbon can be used at many points of the emission sources: The combination of high-quality activated carbon qualities and mobile activated carbon filters!
The new version implements numerous EU requirements
It was negotiated for almost two years; most recently, a cabinet decision at the end of 2020 was able to persuade the Federal Council to approve it on May 28, 2021. With the publication in the Joint Ministerial Gazette (Gemeinsamen Ministerialblatt), it is now official that the newly drafted Technical Instructions on Air Pollution Control (TA Luft, in short) have come into force on December 1st, 2021. With this change, the latest state of the art in air treatment has been considered.
The process for the current new version already started in 2014, the background to which was the implementation of numerous EU regulations, e.g. the entry into force of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED, in short) in 2011 (Directive 2010/75/EU) and the associated new obligation to use the Best Available Techniques (BVT, in short), which are contained in the so-called BVT reference sheets and derived BVT-Conclusions.
As an administrative regulation, the TA Luft regulations are aimed at authorities (approval and monitoring), but as part of the implementation they will have an impact on many plant operators, e.g. of cement plants, of companies in metal production, of chemical companies, food companies as well as biowaste treatment and recycling centers. The requirements specified in the TA Luft are binding for the authorities and can only deviate in justified exceptional cases. And even for operations that do not require approval, at least the requirements from No. 4 TA Luft are also used.
About the TA Luft
The TA Luft consists of only two parts:
The immission requirements serve to protect people and the environment from pollution. On this basis, an approval procedure is used to check what effects are to be expected in the area. The TA Luft stipulates that the pollutants (immissions) brought in through the air by the operation to be approved must not exceed certain values.
  • Suspended particulate matter (PM10): 40 µg/m3 (annual average), 50 µg/m3 (24-hour average)
  • Dust precipitation: 0.35 g/(m2·d) (averaging period: one year)
  • Sulfur dioxide: 20 µg/m3 (per year and from October 1st to March 31st)
  • Nitrogen oxides (specified as nitrogen dioxide): 30 µg/m3 (per year)
  • Hydrogen fluoride and gaseous inorganic fluorine compounds (given as fluorine): 0.4 µg/m3 (per year)
The air pollutants (=emissions) emanating from an industrial or commercial installation are regulated by the general emission requirements. The emission values ​​specified therein for specific air pollutants are intended to serve as a precaution against harmful environmental effects and specify the state of the art or the best available technology.
Examples of emission values:
  • Total dust, including fine dust: 20 mg/m³
  • Inorganic substances in the form of dust, e.g. B. Heavy metals: three substance classes, 0.05 mg/m³, 0.5 mg/m³ or 1 mg/m³
  • Gaseous inorganic substances, e.g. B. Sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides: 0.35 g/m³
  • Organic substances: 50 mg/m³, lower values ​​for certain individual compounds
  • Substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction, as well as poorly degradable, easily accumulating and highly toxic organic substances: three substance classes, 0.05 mg/m³, 0.5 mg/m³ or 1 mg/m³
The scope has been expanded
The TA Luft 2002 currently regulates more than 50,000 operations in Germany that require approval, including in the areas of waste treatment, chemicals, metal production, cement and food.
Since the area of ​​application has been expanded to include new systems, more system operators will have to comply with the TA Luft regulations in the future. Biogas plants, plants for the production of wood pellets and shredder plants (No. are now also subject to the TA-Luft regulations.
In addition, the TA Luft on protection obligations applies to some plant operators. As a result, systems that do not actually require approval under the Federal Immissions Act, e.g. in the area of ​​building approval, are still affected by the TA Luft.
Inclusion of the enforcement recommendations of BVT conclusions 
As already mentioned above, BVT stands for the best available technology that applies to an industrial project of a company that is subject to European immission control law. In concrete terms, the BVT reference sheets specify threshold values ​​and intervals for emissions and describe the procedures. By including the BVT conclusions in the TA Luft, the test methods have now been adapted to the EU specifications. 
Tightening of pollutant deposition values ​​& inclusion of new or re-classification of previous pollutants
With the new version, new, particularly harmful substances, which are or could be carcinogenic, toxic to reproduction or germ cell mutagenic according to the current state of knowledge, were included and pollutants already contained were reclassified, although the general emission limit values ​​of 50 mg/m³ and 0. 50 kg/h remain unchanged in the TA Luft 2021.
Some examples:
  • In addition, new or more stringent immission values ​​for pollutant deposits such as chromium, nickel, cadmium, PAH, dioxins, furans (No. 4.5.1 TA Luft) will be introduced.
    • Benzene: 0,5mg/m³ instead of 1 mg/m³.
    • Trichloroethene: This compound is now classified as a carcinogen and the emission limit has been reduced from 20 mg/m³ to 1 mg/m³.
    • Stricter limits also apply to bromopropane and acetaldehyde, as they pose similar health risks.
    • A limit of 1 mg/m³ now applies to molecules that are toxic to reproduction.
    • A limit value of 5 mg/m³ now applies to formaldehyde.
    • Mercury: The limit has been significantly reduced and is now only 0.01 mg/m³.
            A detailed list can be found in Appendix 3 of the TA Luft
  • The Odor Immissions Guideline (GIRL) is specified in No. 4.3.2 in conjunction with Appendix 7 TA Luft as a national standard for the assessment of odor emissions.
New requirements for animal husbandry facilities
More than before, operators of animal husbandry facilities are obliged to reduce emissions of ammonia and particulate matter. In addition, No. 4.8 in conjunction with Appendix 8 of the TA Luft contains regulations for inputs of nitrogen/acids into so-called areas of community importance. This means that nitrogen precipitation in the vicinity of the plants is checked, which can pose a problem, especially when approving plants that are close to sensitive biotopes.
The inclusion of the odor immission guidelines (GIRL) previously regulated by state law is also important for newly planned systems. For example, exhaust air cleaning with forced ventilation is mandatory for new facilities with a certain number of animals. Existing systems must be retrofitted if this is technically possible and reasonable. Irrespective of this, the total emissions of dust, ammonia and nitrogen must be reduced by at least 70% each.
Donau Carbon solutions for plant operators
For many of the new tasks mentioned above for operators of industrial or commercial plants, Donau Carbon offers tailor-made solutions that go far beyond the sole delivery of activated carbon due to the large selection of mobile fixed bed filters. In doing so, Donau Carbon can not only draw on more than 100 years of experience in the production, evaluation and sale of activated carbon, but also on concrete experience in the following areas:
  • Reduction of ammonia emissions from livestock facilities
  • Exhaust air purification in shredder plants
  • Emission reduction in the chemical and metal industry
  • Technical application solution for biogas and recycling plants
  • Adsorptive solutions for substances that are particularly harmful to health, such as benzene, trichloroethene, formaldehyde and mercury
  • Mobile filters to eliminate unpleasant odor
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Author: Head of Application Technology Marco Müller
Together with his team, he is constantly working on high-quality activated carbon qualities and innovative application solutions. Gabriele Neuroth, Director Activated Carbon Application / Quality Assurance at Donau Carbon, is responsible for application technology.
Donau Carbon


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