Presenting our first newsletter

We are pleased to present you our first BTG-BTL newsletter. Through this newsletter we will keep you informed about the developments of BTG-BTL. It will appear several times per year from now on. In this first newsletter you will find a short interview with Gerhard Muggen, managing director of BTG-BTL, an update of the progress of EMPYRO and some background information about FrieslandCampina, the first customer of EMPYRO who is going to apply pyrolysis oil commercially.

Of course we hope you appreciate the newsletter. If not, you can subscribe from our mailing list with the link below.

Kind regards,

The BTG-BTL team

Brief introduction to ... Gerhard Muggen


           Passion for technology and energy

What is your role at BTG-BTL?
I have been managing director of BTG-BTL since it was founded in 2007. I am also co-director of EMPYRO.

What did you do before this?
I started my career as a project manager at Holec, the current Eaton (medium voltage switchgear), then I worked at Wartsila Diesel (marine diesel engines) and Stork Thermeq (steam systems for power plants). It is remarkable to reflect that in all my functions I have been delivering energy technology all over the world. Whether it was electricity, steam or propulsion of ships.

What keeps you busy especially at the moment?
At present, the construction of EMPYRO has my greatest attention. Construction is finally begun after years of preparation. Around the end of this year we will commissioning EMPYRO. For us this is the basis on which we continue rolling out our business at BTG-BTL.

What does the future for BTG-BTL look like?
The future of BTG-BTL to me is located in the biomass-rich areas in the world. We want to deliver the technology and the basic components of the system to parties who want to convert pyrolysis oil from local biomass. Much interest is shown worldwide for our technology. I am optimistic about the future because there is a need for the transition from fossil to sustainable energy. I foresee a future with energy from a combination of sun, wind and biomass as a carrier of carbon. Everything depends on timing and all the lights are on green now. The world must change.

Do you have another passion outside BTG-BTL?
My passion in private life has also to do with technology and energy. I live with my wife and two children in a farmhouse which is heated by our own wood fired boiler. Also the two apartments at the farm we rent out are heated by this boiler. I think it's wonderful to be independent in terms of power generation. Furthermore, I really enjoy the outdoor living at the farm; felling timber and cutting it with my chainsaw, horse-riding and riding my over-40-year-old McCormick tractor. I also like the fact that FrieslandCampina Domo is our customer for oil. Both my grandfathers were farmers and supplied milk to the Domo their whole lives. I think it’s nice that I can contribute pyrolysis oil now to the Domo (Dairy cooperation, now part of FrieslandCampina).

In the next newsletter a brief introduction to Johan ter Harmsel, general director of Zeton. A very important partner of BTG-BTL, with whom the technology is rolled out together.

Latest tweets


Did you know that…?

  • Around 1200 liters of coffee were consumed during the detailed design phase of the Empyro plant?

  • In November 2013 Gerhard Muggen spent 1100 minutes calling on his cell phone during Empyro financial negotiations?

  • There are over 150 suppliers involved in the Empyro project?

Empyro construction progress


Empyro construction is underway at two main locations at the moment. One is the Empyro site in Hengelo you see on the map and in the image above. Shovels are working to construct the access road and prepare the foundations.


The other location is the workshop of Zeton in Enschede where they build the skids that will later be transported like giant lego blocks and assembled on site to form the Empyro plant. Friday February 21 the construction team visited Broeze in Nijverdal where the first steel skids Zeton uses for Empyro have just been finished.


Meanwhile the engineers of BTG BioLiquids, Zeton, Host and BTG that designed the Empyro plant celebrated the start of construction by having a creative session with a cartoonist and some beers. In the next newsletter expect to find more images of the construction of the Empyro biomass fast pyrolysis plant.


To sustainable energy with pyrolysis oil


FrieslandCampina, one of the world's largest dairy companies, is the first customer of EMPYRO who is going to apply pyrolysis oil commercially. FrieslandCampina has signed a 12-year contract with EMPYRO and is going to use the pyrolysis oil for the production of steam to produce milk powder. Through the use of pyrolysis oil, the direct CO2 emissions for the entire location Borculo -one of the largest production facilities of the company- will be reduced by approximately 15 percent. This will result in considerable savings in fossil fuels (10 million cubic meters of natural gas and 16,000 tons of CO2 reduction).

With the signing of this contract also the foundation is laid for the construction of the plant EMPYRO, where the pyrolysis oil will be produced." Due to this long-term contract, FrieslandCampina makes the application of this innovation possible on a commercial scale," said Gerhard Muggen, Managing Director BTG-BTL and EMPYRO BV.

Friesland Campina is proud of the agreement and cooperation. "This agreement is another step to a more sustainable energy procurement portfolio. Also FrieslandCampina will be the first to apply this innovative biofuel on a significant scale," said Tim Schroeder, category procurement manager at FrieslandCampina.

Financial support


To demonstrate pyrolysis technology on a commercial scale the Empyro project is financially supported by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission (Grant number 239357), by the Dutch government via the topsector Energy: TKI-BBE and by the province of Overijssel via the Energy Fund Overijssel.