About us

Transforming visions into
reality. Since 1965.

The Company

For over 55 years, we have planned, designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned biomass cogeneration plants worldwide. Additionally, we have been at the forefront of developing innovative technologies in biomass gasification, carbonisation and torrefaction for over 20 years.

The Polytechnik Group, headquartered in Weissenbach, Austria, leverages the experience gained in completing over 3,000 systems. Established in 1965 as a two-person operation, the company has grown into a global leader in biomass combustion, gasification, carbonisation and torrefaction technologies. Our clients worldwide can now call on our team of approximately 240 dedicated and service-oriented employees and the innovative products and services we provide alongside our joint ventures and partners. With a 95% export rate, we operate internationally, maintaining branches with carefully selected partners in more than ten countries, including Switzerland, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, China and New Zealand.

We all share the same vision: we want our cutting-edge solutions to make a decisive contribution to the defossilisation of the global economy.

We provide an extensive range of services in every region where we operate.

History

Transforming Biomass

Since 1965
1965
The company Polytechnik is founded as a branch in Austria with 2 employees.
1978
Polytechnik is growing. With 25 employees, intensive work is being carried out on the technological development of biomass combustion technology.
1980
After the successful completion of the research project on the full automation of plants for generating energy using biogenic fuels, the first fully automatic double boiler plant goes into operation.
1981
Leo Schirnhofer takes over 100% of the company and the new production hall in Weissenbach an der Triesting, the current headquarters, is opened.
1982-1984
Expansion of the product portfolio to include systems for the production of hot steam and hot water and the location in Weissenbach is expanded by 150 m² of office space.
1986-1996
Polytechnik expanded and founded Polytechnik Swiss AG in 1986. In 1988, the joint venture was founded in Hungary, which was fully taken over in 1990. In 1991, the company was awarded the State Prize. In 1996, Polytechnik Poland was founded and the company entered the Russian market.
2003
With more than 50 employees for the first time, an export offensive is launched and the first plants are sold in Japan and Polytechnik France is founded.
2004
The first large CHP plant with ORC goes into operation in Tyrol, Austria (6,500 kW thermal oil boiler, 1,100 kWel and 4,000 kW hot water boiler).
2005
Polytechnik continues to grow and is expanding its office space in Austria by an additional 1,000m².
2006
Three more large cogeneration plants go into operation (20 MW thermal and 5 MW electrical).
2006
The owner’s son, Lukas Schirnhofer, joins the family business.
2007
The first cogeneration plant in Korea (2 x 8.7 MW thermal and 750 kW electrical) goes into operation.
2009-2010
Polytechnik continues to expand. After the takeover and integration of the boiler and pressure vessel manufacturer SIETA, in Cluj Napoca in Romania, Polytechnik New Zealand is founded.
2014
Lukas Schirnhofer becomes part of the management and Polytechnik Deutschland is founded.
2016
The first patented GreenCarbon plant for the production of biochar goes into operation and the joint venture production and sales site is founded in Jieyang, China.
2020
The first plant with specially developed biomass gasification technology PolyHeld goes into operation and the largest CHP plant to date with 2x17 MW thermal and 10 MW electrical is being built together with the joint venture partner in China.
2021
The expansion of the headquarters in Austria continues to progress with the commissioning of additional production areas (3000m²) and the enlargement of the office space (500m²).
2022
With a new ownership structure, further expansion and, above all, the expansion of the PolyCarbonisation division will be initiated. Heinz Grossmann will strengthen the management as representative of the new majority owner and will lead the company together with Lukas Schirnhofer.
2022
Construction of the new 4000m² production facility in Hungary begins, creating additional production capacity for the future and new jobs at the site.
2023
The first project to build an industrial torrefaction plant with a capacity of 60,000 tons of biochar per year starts (Joensuu, Finland).
2024
The founding of the Torrefaction & Carbonisation business unit in Austria, the expansion of Polytechnik New Zealand in the area of ​​customer service, and the founding of Polycarbonisation Australasia for the broader marketing of new technologies take place.

Our philosophy

“Our clients particularly value our cross-industry expertise, which allows us to consistently deliver customised system concepts tailored to their specific needs.”
 

Guiding principles

We embrace sustainability and innovation.
We are customer orientated.
We uphold social responsibility and fairness.
We practise open communication.
We maintain a grounded approach in all we do.

Management

Heinz Grossmann
Management
Lukas Schirnhofer
Management

The purchase of a Polytechnik system marks the beginning of our relationship with the customer, not the end. Our numerous long-standing partnerships are a testament to the trust our clients place in our team’s expertise and innovative capabilities.

“We want to make a significant contribution to a secure future for succeeding generations. To achieve this, we are developing innovative biomass technologies that will enable the defossilisation of the global economy.”

Research

Transforming dedicated research into innovative technologies.

The conscientious use of resources is fundamental to climate protection. In the energy sector and the manufacturing industry, the efficient utilisation of residual materials is crucial.

Through continuous technological advancement, we contribute to addressing the greatest challenge of our time: climate change and its impacts. Research allows us to develop new technologies and bring them to market readiness. The ideas and concepts born from collaboration with our innovation partners during basic research are rigorously tested at our facilities in Weissenbach.

 

Applied research and development

In addition to basic combustion, gasification and carbonisation research, we conduct numerous tests with a wide range of biogenic residues at our Weissenbach facilities. Over the past three decades, Polytechnik has amassed an extensive database of fuel and residue tests, which are pivotal in developing new technologies.

Test and trial series at our Weissenbach site

At our Weissenbach site, we conduct extensive tests and trials on biomass combustion, gasification and carbonisation in three state-of-the-art test facilities. These facilities serve a dual purpose: we develop and test new technologies and conduct trials on behalf of our customers, and we also use these plants to research, test and calibrate new control programs. We can simulate, test and refine processes such as wood gas reforming to achieve process and product maturity.

Technologies for the future

Research and development have been part of Polytechnik’s DNA from the beginning. Currently, we are focusing on several key projects:

  • Developing efficiency-driven control systems to minimise resource use
  • Implementing CO2 separation, including retrofitting existing systems
  • Scaling up our carbonisation technologies

These are just a few highlights of our research endeavours. Our primary focus remains on enhancing the efficiency of our technologies and promoting the circular use of resources.

Research partners

Production sites

Weissenbach

In operation since 1965

Production area 3,500m2

New building completed in 2021

Hungary

In operation since 1988

Production area 4,000m2

New building set to open in September 2024

Romania

Operated by Polytechnik since 2009

Production area 2,500m2

China

In operation since 2005

Production area 3,200m2