To our dear readers,

This month's newsletter will start with an interview with Erik Lievers, the province of Overijssel Representative for Energy, Environment and Europe. We´re also delighted to announce that we will be opening a webshop. That´s right, we will be supplying pyrolysis oil by one 'click' to your door soon! Additionally, we´d like to give you a short update on the current progress of Empyro. We hope you will enjoy this month's letter.

With kind regards,

The BTG-BTL Team

PS. Still a bit early but we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

December 2015


Brief introduction to... Erik Lievers

Erik Lievers, the province of Overijssel Representative for Energy, Environment and Europe.

Who are you and what is your current function?

I am Erik Lievers and since the start of this year I am the representative of the province Overijssel for Energy, Environment and Europe.

What are the ambitions of the province and how does Empyro/pyrolysis technology fit in?

Our ambitions for the energy transition are high. Towards 2023, we want to raise the renewable energy share to 20% within Overijssel. Whether that is feasible will depend a.o. on whether we succeed in making optimal use of our biomass. As Overijssel we are proud of the innovative pyrolysis plant Empyro, the first one in the Netherlands, and its contribution to our renewable energy targets. It makes the province Overijssel a pioneer in this area. We have supported Empyro from the start, because we believed in this technology and the people behind it. The business acts as an ambassador for our policy within the area of renewable energy. The cooperation between science, entrepreneurs and the government that have led to Empyro I find inspiring. Because of these innovative developments we take a huge step towards a bio-based economy. To make another leap in the energy transition we need innovation, of which this technology is an excellent example.

The province Overijssel (through EFO) has becomeshareholder of Empyro, which has helped make this project possible. Are you currently considering doing this with other renewable energy projects as well?

In total Energy Fund Overijssel (EFO) has spent €95 million so far on several business projects and housing association projects that either save energy or deliver energy from renewable sources. In this way it contributes to our innovation policy, employment generation, entrepreneurship and the strengthening of our regional economy in Overijssel as well as the realization of our ambition: 20% renewable energy in Overijssel in 2023. A few examples of these types of projects - besides the loans to housing associations – are making sports center “De Schreg” more sustainable, the investment in the construction of biogas stations of OrangeGas, the installation of solar panels on rental properties from different housing associations in Overijssel and the installation of LED-lighting by Holland Eco Finance in the football stadiums of PEC Zwolle and of Heracles Almelo. 

Do you have any advice for us with regard to the rollout of our pyrolysis technology?

The province of Overijssel applauds cooperation. Businesses still need to initiate the development of new technologies and energy projects themselves, but Overijssel can support them in this. Through partnerships, such as BEON. Together we can make innovative projects a reality. My advice is to keep developing and innovating. Also to make use of the European funds and research programs available to you. We need these innovations to shape a future-proof and sustainable energy supply.

Latest tweets

Did you know...?

  • Empyro has produced its first million liters of pyrolysis oil from biomass.
  • Since September this pyrolysis oil is already replacing large amounts of natural gas at our customer FrieslandCampina.
  • Over 2500 people have already watched our video on the development of our pyrolysis technology.
  • Empyro was recently ranked third in the top 10 pyrolysis biofuel projects in the world by the biofuels digest magazine.

Bioenergy Day 2016

BEON (Bioenergy Cluster Eastern Netherlands) are a cluster of parties who focuses on the promotion of the use of bio-energy of East Netherlands. The parties are a combination of science centers, technology companies and renewable energy companies based in East Netherlands. Their mission is to increase the use of bioenergy and foster sustainable economic growth by enhancing the cooperation between the members of BEON.

BEON organizes a regional Bioenergy Day every year, and last year their theme was “Bioenergy: Obtained Sustainably, used Locally”.  This year the theme was “Towards the Bio-based Economy with Energy”. The day started with a visit to the Hengelo District Heating Grid and at the Empyro Biomass Fast Pyrolysis Plant. BEON has published a short video of the tour of the Empyro Plant.


Pyrolysis Oil is coming ONLINE

We're happy to announce that we’re opening a webshop. We will be supplying pyrolysis oil due to the high demand of requests all over the world. Stay tuned via our website!  

Progress at Empyro

In our last BTG-BTL newsletter of May 2015, we reported on the successful start-up of Empyro, which started in January this year. We were happy to report that we had already produced the first amounts of pyrolysis oil. 


Since then we have not been idle. The focus has been on handling the usual “teething troubles” that come with a new type of plant like Empyro. Our plant manager and his operators have been working diligently, and sometimes round the clock, to get the plant in optimal working order. 


With hard work comes great reward! The team had their breakthrough a few weeks ago, when they produced their first millionth liter of pyrolysis oil! Analysis shows that the oil produced has been of excellent and constant quality in terms of all relevant properties, including solids content, water content and stability.


This oil is already being transported to FrieslandCampina in Borculo, to replace natural gas in the production of steam for their processes. In the picture above, we see the oil is being delivered to their storage tank on site.


This pipeline connects the storage tank to their boiler, which works on natural gas and up to 70% of pyrolysis oil. The steam produced this way is exactly the same. This allows FrieslandCampina to use sustainable biomass to greatly reduce their CO2 emissions, without infering with their process.



OPRA Turbines have announced that they have been developing the OP16-3C. OPRA Turbines based in Hengelo, the Netherlands, provides turbines for customers within the oil & gas, industrial, commercial, and marine sectors all around the world.

The OP16-3C has a power rating of 1.85 MWe and has the same engine core as their OP16-3A/B gas turbines. This unique turbine has a specific designed combustor that burns ultra-low calorific gaseous and liquid fuels. This means OP16-3C can run on a wide range of fuels, including the BTG-BTL’s pyrolysis oil. Other fuels can also be utilized in this turbine, like biofuel, coal derived gas, ethanol, syngas, and waste gas. It has been tested on pyrolysis oil (heating value of 16 MJ/kg) and syngas (heating value of 6 MJ/kg). Furthermore, it can be operated on dual-fuel mode with high calorific fuel, including fuel or gas, as a back-up fuel. It can also be run on a bi-fuel mode, which means that a supplementary fuel can be used to boost on an ultra-lean fuel. The high exhaust gas is very suitable for the production of process steam. In these so called CHP (Combined Heat and Power) applications the efficiency of this gas turbine is over 90%.

Combined with the high CO2 savings of our pyrolysis oil from biomass this innovation opens up the possibility today to efficiently produce green heat and power at any location. BTG-BTL is currently investigating the feasibility of several projects using an OPRA OP16-3C turbine. Interested? Do not hesitate to contact OPRA or BTG-BTL for further information.

Carpentry at Aveleijn

Aveleijn is an organisation that helps those from different ages and backgrounds who need extra support. They have been wanting to build an experience tunnel for their mentally disabled clients in Losser, The Netherlands for some time. We engineers at BTG-BTL thought: if we can build a pyrolysis plant, then we can also build an experience tunnel! So BTG-BTL supplied the wood and we turned it into a teambuilding activity. Our engineers worked side-by-side with the Aveleijn clients and got the structure finished in a single day. A memorable day, not just for Aveleijn's clients but also for us!



BTG-BTL will be presenting at Lignofuels 2016, Munich, Germany

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.