TA Luft 2021: our insights on stricter air emission limits and wider remit in Germany


TA Luft or the “Technical Instructions on Air Quality Control” is one of Germany’s most important environmental legislations aside from the “Federal Pollution Control Act” (Bundes-Immisionsschutzgesetz). TA Luft governs the licensing requirements for industrial plants, and is aimed at reducing emissions of pollutants to improve air quality.

The previous iteration of TA Luft dates from 2002, meaning that this overhaul is long overdue. The revisions are due to come into force on the 1st of December 2021 and are intended to take into account the latest air pollution treatment technology and most recent information on pollutants.

TA Luft 2021 will now include regulations for biogas, wood pellet production and shredder systems for the first time, as well as new nationwide regulations to protect local residents from odour nuisance.

At DESOTEC, we have analysed the new regulations. In this article, we’ve summarized our insights for you. From our perspective,  the largest impact throughout industry will be related to the addition or reclassification of pollutants, aside from these newly regulated activities.

As Germany is one of the industry leaders in Europe, these changes may also inspire and influence the air emission legislation in other European countries.

DESOTEC is keeping a close eye on new or updates of existing environmental regulations to make sure our activated carbon filtration solutions help industrials to meet the new requirements.



Addition and reclassification of pollutants

TA Luft 2002 also set industry-relevant limits for dust, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, organic compounds, and hydrofluoric acids, among many other pollutants.

However, since then, new molecules have been discovered and more information is available on the environmental and health effects of already known pollutants.

Although the general emission limit of 50 mg/m³ and 0,50 kg/h will remain the same in TA Luft 2021, stricter limits will be imposed for carcinogenic, highly toxic, or persistent molecules.

The following molecules are among those that will be more strictly regulated:

  • Benzene: 0,5mg/m³ instead of 1 mg/m³.
  • Trichloroethene: this is now regulated as a carcinogenic compound, so  the emission limit is reduced from 20 mg/ m³ to 1 mg/ m³. Stricter limits are also in place for bromopropane and acetaldehyde due to similar health risks.
  • Reprotoxic molecules now have a limit of 1 mg/m³. They did not previously have a specific limit.
  • Formaldehyde now has a limit of 5 mg/m³. It was not mentioned explicitly in TA Luft 2002.
  • Mercury: the limit has been decreased by a factor of five and is now just 0,01 mg/m³.

It is important to note that the environmental permits for specific companies can deviate from these values, at the discretion of the local authorities.


DESOTEC filtration systems

Companies operating in Germany may find that their existing air purification set-up is no longer sufficient under TA Luft 2021.

DESOTEC works with many clients to bring their emissions in line with environmental legislations. If your business is also impacted by the revision of TA Luft, we are happy to discuss the possible filtration solutions with you to meet the new requirements.

Our mobile activated carbon filters are in use in the biogas and biomethane, chemical production, shredding industry, and waste management sectors, among many others. For many applications, they are regarded as the best available technology.

They are effective at treating odour nuisance, reducing complaints from those working in or living near industrial sites.

To find out how our filters could help your company meet its obligations under TA Luft 2021, contact DESOTEC today.