News archive 2007-2012

On 21st November BTG BioLiquids bv and IPT signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on pyrolysis during the Dutch Trade Mission session in Sao Paulo, Brasil. The signing was supervised by the Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander. The Trade Mission is the largest Dutch Trade Mission ever and is broadcasted extensively in Dutch and Brasilian press and tv-channels.

BTG Bioliquids and IPT sign MoU Bio-energiedag Oost-Nederland

Click on the images to zoom in.

Hand over BTG's jubilee book to vice prime minister Verhagen


Hand over of BTG's jubilee book to vice prime minister and minister Verhagen during a work visit to BTG.

Overhandiging jubileumboek aan vice-premier en minister Verhagen

ETC and BTG successfully demonstrate pyrolysis oil gasification


In the frame of the SUPRABIO project, ETC (Sweden) and BTG (Netherlands) have carried out successful experiments with entrained flow gasification of pyrolysis oil. The pyrolysis oil was made from pine wood in the pilot plant at BTG in Enschede, the Netherlands, and shipped along with a dedicated fuel pump skid to Sweden. Using the pump skid, the pyrolysis oil was then gasified in the pressurised entrained flow biomass gasifier (PEBG) at the ETC research facilities in Piteå, Sweden.

The experimental campaign was carried out by a team of biomass pyrolysis experts from BTG, led by Daan Assink, and gasification experts from ETC, led by Henry Hedman. About 7 hours of pyrolysis oil gasification was carried out in the PEBG plant at a fuel feeding rate of 60 kg/hr, 3 bar absolute pressure and oxygen enriched conditions (70 wt% Oxygen). Detailed test results will become available in the coming months.

In 2013, ETC’s gasification train will be expanded to include a newly developed synthesis reactor. Once the full gasification train is operational, a second test campaign will be conducted, demonstrating at a single site the whole chain from pyrolysis oil feedstock to synthetic biomass-based end-products like Methanol, Fischer-Tropsch diesel or Dimethylether (DME), made via medium scale economic processing utilising intensified catalytic reactors developed jointly by Brunel University, London and IMM in Germany.

The SUPRABIO project (in full: Sustainable products from economic processing of biomass in highly integrated biorefineries) is a large-scale collaborative research project involving 16 European organisations. The overall objective of SUPRABIO is the research, development and demonstration of novel intensified unit operations that can be integrated into economic and sustainable biorefinery options for the production of second-generation biofuels, intermediates and high value products, together with assessment of the outcomes to inform and enable sustainable implementation. SUPRABIO is financially supported by the European Commission through the 7th Framework Programme (Grant FP7-241640,

As a not-for-profit research institute located in Piteå, north of Sweden, ETC focus on combustion, gasification and biorefinery processes in collaboration with industrial companies, public agencies and academic institutions. ETC has a highly competent staff, practical skills and unique infrastructure with the vision to provide sustainable energy solution for the future. Besides SUPRABIO, ETC is involved in several pilot scale gasification projects and the FP7 project named BioDME (Production of DME from biomass and utilisation as fuel for transport and for industrial use).

BTG is a private firm which for the past 30 years has specialised in the conversion of biomass into biofuels and bio-energy. BTG's two business units, Consultancy and RTD, work in synergy and ensure innovative and commercially feasible activities. Daughter company Bioheat International BV is active in CO2 emission trading through JI and CDM. BTG started its RTD developments in the 1990’s with the development of its own thermochemical processes. In its dedicated research lab several test facilities are available. BTG fast pyrolysis developments have resulted in several patents, which are now commercially exploited by its daughter company BTG-BTL. BTG has an extensive experience and is deeply involved in European bio-energy R&D programmes.

The official press release can be found here


Dr. Olov Öhrman
Energy Technology Centre
Industrigatan 1
94138 Piteå, Sweden
Tel: +46 911 232391

Dr. Bert van de Beld
BTG Biomass Technology Group BV
PO Box 835
7500 AV Enschede, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 53 486 2288

Empyro BV receives all required permits


Empyro BV has received all required permits for the building of a 5 tonnes per hour pyrolysis installation on the premises of Akzo Nobel in Hengelo. Construction of the installation will be started this year and is expected to be finished end of 2013. The installation will produce approximately 22,500 tonnes of pyrolyses oil annually.

EMPYRO BV – the legal entity behind the EMPYRO plant – organised a signing session and press conference in February 2012. During this event the following permits, loans and letters of intent were handed over or signed:

  • Representative of the province of Overijssel Theo Rietkerk and René Venendaal – legal representative of EMPYRO BV – signed a loan agreement. With this subordinated loan part of the finance of the plant is now covered.
  • Representative of the province of Overijssel Ineke Bakker handed over the environmental permit. This permit is the first permit for a pyrolysis plant in the Netherlands. Both the province of Overijssel and EMPYRO BV had to tackle new challenges to finalize this permit.
  • Alderman Janneke Oude Alink of the municipality of Hengelo handed over the building permit. Also for this permit new challenges had to be tackled making this permit the first for a pyrolysis plant in the Netherlands.
  • Location manager of AkzoNobel in Hengelo Egbert Schasfoort and René Venendaal signed a lease contract for the EMPYRO plant site. The pyrolysis plant will be located on a site next to AkzoNobel in Hengelo. With this lease contract EMPYRO BV is now able to construct the plant on site.
  • Chairman of the executive board of the University of Twente and René Venendaal signed a letter of intent capturing the current activities of both partners. Currently the university is considering the possibility of installing an OPRA turbine using pyrolysis oil to generate heat and electricity for its campus.

World's first large energy installation based on pyrolysis oil from wood residues


From 2014, the University of Twente will be generating half of its electricity and heat supplies from 100% climate neutral ‘pyrolysis oil’ extracted from wood residues. A yet-to-be-built factory in Hengelo will be producing this new sustainable oil from clean wood residues on a large scale. This innovative technology was created at the University of Twente; the company BTG in Enschede has developed it further and will be producing the ‘green oil’ on a large scale. The province of Overijssel will be investing €3 million in the development of the factory in Hengelo, to be called ‘Empyro’. The gas turbine which is to generate large quantities of electricity and heat from the pure pyrolysis oil will be delivered by the company OPRA. OPRA and the University of Twente will jointly modify the turbine for use with the green oil. The heat and electricity from the plant will have an efficiency of approximately 90%.

On Wednesday 22 February 2012 (see attached programme), the province of Overijssel, BTG and the University of Twente will sign documents enabling the construction of the pyrolysis factory in Hengelo and climate-neutral energy supplies on the University of Twente campus. The province of Overijssel and the municipalities of Hengelo and Enschede will be granting the requisite environmental and building permits, and the University of Twente will be signing a Letter of Intent for the energy supplies on its campus.

The Empyro factory in Hengelo, which should be ready by the end of 2013, will be able to process 200 tons of wood residues per day, producing 22,500 tons of green oil per year in the process. This is sufficient to supply around 8,000 households with heat. The construction of the factory means that the production of pyrolysis oil has definitely outgrown the laboratory. BTG’s factory will be relatively simple to expand if greater capacity is required at a later date.

Advantages of green oil

The biggest advantage of the climate-neutral oil from wood residues over wind and solar energy is that pyrolysis oil can be stored and transported easily. One and a half years ago, it was world news when it became apparent that this green oil was suitable for mixing in existing refineries for the production of green diesel, petrol and kerosene. The use of pyrolysis oil as 100% green energy source for houses and buildings is a significant new practical application. The wood residues from which the oil is made do not compete with the food chain.

Green key technology

The company BTG has already won a prize for the most innovative project in Overijssel. Employment in the bio-energy sector in the province of Overijssel has doubled in recent years. The pyrolysis technology alone is expected to lead to 300 extra jobs in the region.

This spring, BTG and interested customers, including Dutch power companies and the industrial sector, will be submitting a request to the Dutch government to make the conversion of the pyrolysis oil into energy more attractive for users.

Note to the press

For more information: Marcel Hammink (UT) +31 (0)6 5321 3917, Karin Obdeijn (Province of Overijssel) +31 (0)38 499 9242, René Venendaal (BTG) +31 (0)53 486 1186.

University of Twente, BTG-BTL and OPRA Turbines have developed a renewable gas turbine


The news item below (In Dutch) describes the development of a new renewable gas turbine by the University of Twente, BTG-BTL and OPRA turbines. This new turbine OP16 will use pyrolysis oil - which will be produced by BTG-BTL -  and can produce electricity and heat with an efficiency of around 90%.

Een rendement tot 90% bij de productie van elektriciteit en warmte uit klimaatneutrale en duurzame pyrolyse-olie gemaakt uit landbouwafval. Dit ligt binnen handbereik door een samenwerking van Universiteit Twente en de Twentse bedrijven OPRA en BTG-BTL, een spinoff bedrijf van de Universiteit Twente. Als antwoord op een toenemende behoefte aan groene energie, ontwikkelen zij specifiek voor de klimaatneutrale pyrolyse-olie een speciale verbrandingskamer voor de zogenoemde 'OP16 gas turbine'. Hierdoor kan deze turbine elektriciteit en warmte produceren met 100% duurzame pyrolyse-olie als brandstof.

Tot 90% rendement uit duurzame energie
De 'groene turbine' drijft straks een generator aan waardoor in feite een kleine energiecentrale ontstaat die dichtbij de afnemers energie aanlevert. Naast elektriciteit levert zo'n 'kleine centrale' ook veel warmte. En doordat hij straks dichtbij kantoren en huizen staat, kan die warmte in de uitlaatgassen zonder veel energieverlies, en dus met hoog rendement, haar weg vinden naar industriële projecten, kantoren of zelfs complete stadswijken. De opgewekte elektriciteit is voor lokaal gebruik of leverbaar aan het elektriciteitsnet. Door op deze manier zowel de elektriciteit als de warmte van de generatorset te benutten, neemt het totale rendement toe tot wel 90%.

De OP16 gasturbine van het Hengelose bedrijf OPRA is een industriële, radiale turbine met de hoogste efficiëntie in de 2 Megawatt power range. Eventueel kunnen OP16 units effectief gecombineerd worden tot energiecentrales van 1.5 tot 10 MWe. Het bedrijf BTG-BTL uit Enschede zal de benodigde pyrolyse-olie in grote hoeveelheden gaan aanleveren vanuit zijn nog te bouwen pyrolyse installatie in Hengelo.

Klimaatneutrale olie
De Universiteit Twente kwam al vaker in het nieuws met pyrolyse-olie; dit is een nieuwe praktische toepassing ervan. De groene olie wordt gewonnen uit bos- en landbouwafval. Deze biomassa wordt via een speciaal proces en onder verhitting tot 500 graden Celsius 'gekraakt' tot kleinere moleculen die de olie vormen; de biomassa wordt vloeibaar gemaakt. Doordat de olie klimaatneutraal is, is de energie die eruit voortkomt dat ook. De generatorsets die op de klimaatneutrale brandstof draaien zullen na de eerste tests het komende jaar worden doorontwikkeld en daarna beschikbaar komen voor de energiemarkt.

Dit nieuwe project is onderdeel van het BE2.O-programma, gefinancierd door de provincie Overijssel met een eerste subsidie van 2,5 miljoen Euro. Dit gezamenlijke programma van de provincie Overijssel, de Universiteit Twente en regionale bedrijven heeft als doel de toepassing van bio-energie te verruimen. De nadruk ligt op het versnellen van innovaties, zowel op technisch als sociaal-economisch gebied.

BTG-BTL proud to be advised by its Advisory Board


BTG-BTL is proud to be advised from now on by its Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is composed of a team of professionals from the chemical, (petro-)chemical and energy industry. Each member contributes more than 40 years of experience in technology, business development, process implementation and commissioning.

It is our strong belief that new technologies will be invented en developed in small companies, but that scale up, implementation and further deployment will have to be done in large companies with a long history in the energy and chemical field. For this reason BTG-BTL is very happy to be able to combine forces from now on with its Advisory Board. 

The Advisory Board consists of the following members:
- Henk Geut, former Badger and Aker Solutions
- Jac Eekhof, former Shell International
- Paul Koppen de Neve, former AkzoNobel, Holec and UNA
- Herman van Wechem, former Shell International
- Berend van Rhijn, former AkzoNobel

henk.2.jpg jac.jpg paul.jpg
Henk Geut
Former Badger and Aker Solutions
Jac Eekhof
Former Shell International
Paul Koppen de Neve
Former AkzoNobel, Holec and UNA
herman.jpg berend.jpg  
Herman van Wechem
Former Shell International
Berend van Rhijn
Former AkzoNobel

BTG-BTL ranked by Lux Research as top alternative fuel company

BTG-BTL was top ranked by Lux Research as top alternative fuel company. More information on or see document. 


Lux Research provides strategic advice and on-going intelligence for emerging technologies. Leaders in business, finance and government rely on Lux research to help them make informed strategic decisions. Through their unique research approach focused on primary research and extensive global network, they deliver insight, connections and competitive advantage to their clients. Visit for more information.

Pyrolysis oil meets CO2 emissions saving requirements set by EU in 2017


The directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RED) contains requirements to the minimum greenhouse gas emission saving from the use of biofuels and bioliquids. Only bioliquids and biofuels that meet these requirements will be taken into account to national targets, renewable energy obligations and be eligible for financial support for the consumption of biofuels and bioliquids. Pyrolysis oil easily meets the requirements set for 2017 and unward. See summary. 

Succesful tests with pyrolysis oil combustion on steam boiler


Based on combustion tests performed on the 9 MWth test boiler, Stork can design, supply and guarantee burners using pyrolysis oil, meeting the stringent Dutch emission limits. For details, please look under Downloads.

BTG demonstrates technology and catalyst to enable pyrolysis oils to be distilled.


Together with researchers from University of Groningen and BIC Boreskov Institute of Catalysis (Novosibirsk, Russia), BTG Biomass Technology Group B.V. (Enschede, The Netherlands) succeeded in treating pyrolysis oils such that further distillation becomes possible.

Use of the pyrolysis oil in 2nd or 3rd generation biofuels and as a source of chemicals is now possible.

Herewith an important step towards the realisation of a Biobased Economy is made again. The proposed hydrogenation routes and catalysts, for which patents have been applied for, require substantially less hydrogen than anticipated on basis of earlier work published.

The work has been financially supported by SenterNovem (NEO 0268-02-03-0001 and EOSLT04018), AgentschapNL (BIORF01016) and in the European project BioCoup (contract no. 518312).

More detailed results will be presented on the forthcoming Nordic Biomass Wood Conference in Stockholm (Sweden), from March 21-24 (2011).

BTG Biomass Technology Group BV (BTG) is an independent, private group of companies, which for the past decades has specialized in the process of conversion of biomass into fuels and energy. BTG has structured its know-how activities in unique combination of two business units with main activities Consultancy and Research & Technology Development (RTD).

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen is one of the oldest research universities in Europe. Some 26,500 students are currently enrolled in more than 170 Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes. Every year, about 2,500 students graduate from the University, and some 300 PhD theses are defended.

Boreskov Institute of Catalysis was founded by Georgii Konstantinovich Boreskov in 1958 as a part of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. One of the main activity areas of the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis is fundamental investigations in catalytic science to discover new principles of chemical reactions and to create innovative catalytic compositions and technologies

For more information: see

Mr. René Venendaal, CEO BTG

CO2 storage in asphalt; the green road


BTG BioLiquids and Hengelo based asphalt producer ACH have successfully produced asphalt test samples with a fraction of pyrolysis oil. Samples have been prepared in which 5 and 10 % of the bitumen were replaced by the lignin fraction of the pyrolysis oil. The initial tests shows that the water resistance and strength of the asphalt is comparable or even slightly better than conventional asphalt. 
By using the biomass based pyrolysis oil, one can say that the CO2 is stored in the asphalt, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases. Also, the pyrolysis oil offers an alternative for fossil bitumen, the market of which is controlled by a limited number of suppliers. 

Based on the initial successful results, work will continue on improving the lignin fraction in order to minimize odor during the production of the asphalt and to increase the replaced fraction of the bitumen. 

The use of pyrolysis oil in the asphalt is another step in making asphalt more sustainable. The use of pyrolysis oil as a fuel for drying and heating the asphalt granulate has already been shown in cooperation with an asphalt plant supplier.

BTG wins the prize for the "Most Innovative Project" in the Province of Overijssel


On 11 November, BTG received an award for developing the “most innovative project” in the Province of Overijssel, the Netherlands. The project concerns the Pyrolysis Oil Production Plant in Hengelo ( The award was handed by Mr. Theo Rietkerk of the Province of Overijssel. The prize consists of a set of solar panels to be transferred to a civil society organization in the region. 

The prize for the project with the highest greenhouse gases reduction was rewarded to the Twence-AkzoNobel steam pipeline between these companies. The project reduces 65.000 ton CO2 annually. 

The village of Hoonhorst was awarded the most inspiring project as it aims to become a fully self-sufficient village in the Province of Overijssel

Biofuel developments in higher gear


While much of the world's attention is currently focused on electric cars, the development of 2nd generation biofuels is moving ahead significantly as well. Researchers of the University of Twente, in cooperation with BTG (as part of the Biocoup consortium) have reached a breakthrough in the conversion of biomass into liquid biofuel.

Nearby, a company called BioMCN recently opened the largest 2nd generation biofuel plant in the world. The company produces biomethanol, a fuel so powerful that professional rally-drivers now advocate its use in rally races.

BTG Bioliquids obtains environmental permits for Empyro


The permits for the Empyro factory were, as required by the Dutch law, published and open for comments until last week. This week the concept permits were granted to Empyro, they will be definite within 6 weeks. BTG Bioliquids, in cooperation with BTG, also developed an environmental assessment which is also approved by the Dutch government.

Results emissions with pyrolysis oil now online!


Pyrolysis Oil Drums BTG-BTLFor the usage of pyrolysis oil on boilers, modification of the burner and fuel system are needed. There are burner suppliers that offer such systems commercially, it is possible to use 100% pyrolysis oil on these burners. Recently BTG Bioliquids has been working with other burner suppliers as well. First results now online!

BTG-BTL on primetime and in national newspaper


This weekend both national newspapers as TV paid attention to the developments of BTG-BTL (in cooperation with the University of Twente) and the pyrolysis technology. Main focus of both news items was the upgrading of the pyrolysis oil and the biorefinery possibilities (part of theBIOCOUP project). 

The news item was shown on primetime on Saturday and can be seen here:

The AD (Algemeen Dagblad) used a whole page to explain the technology and its possibilities, and to elaborate on the developments of a.o. BTG Bioliquids. Download the article here

Interested in meeting us in the USA or Canada end of September 2010?


One of BTG’s experts on pyrolysis, Robbie Venderbosch, will be visiting and presenting at the Symposium on Thermal and Catalytic Sciences for Biofuels and Biobased Products from the 21st until 23rd of September . Theme of the presentation will be: Hydroprocessing of biomass derived pyrolysis oils. 

BTG-BTL’s director, Gerhard Muggen, will be presenting at the conference in Vancouver,Bioenergy Business Models that work in Canada from the 30th of September until 2nd of October. He will be traveling through the USA and Canada for 2 weeks during this period. 

Interested in meeting us in the USA or Canada during that time, please contact us at or +31 53 486 2287. 

Biofuels, including pyrolysis, on primetime!


Today the Dutch NOS news is interviewing BTG Bioliquid director Gerhard Muggen and filming BTG-BTL’s developments for a news item focusing on biofuels. Both the University of Twente and BTG Bioliquids are approached for this item. 

Expected moment of broadcasting is Saturday 4th of September 2010 or Sunday 5th of September 2010, at 20.00 pm (Nederland 1). 

Follow BTG-BTL now on Twitter


More (informal) news on BTG-BTL, Empyro, (#)biorefinery and other (#)pyrolysis related topics can now also be followed through twitter. Follow us at.

Designs for Empyro BV are being finalized


Pyrolysis factory EmpyroBTG-BTL and Empyro BV are finalizing the designs for the pyrolysis factory that will be build on the AkzoNobel premises. More information on the development of Empyro and the expected planning can be found here.

BTG-BTL's Empyro project will deliver pyrolysis oil to the district heating network of Hengelo.


Follow-up of the news that was already published in the beginning of April: BTG Bioliquids officially signed the agreement for the development of a mutual project with the Municipality of Hengelo (the Netherlands) and Opra Turbines. The aim of this project is the placement of the first Opra turbine on pyrolysis oil at the Warmtenet Hengelo (District Heating Network Hengelo) site in the beginning of 2012. This unit will use about 25% of the Empyro BV pyrolysis oil production. Several newspaper articles (only in Dutch) on this matter are published and a news item can be seen below.