Making pyrolyse oil

Pyrolysis oil, as an alternative to petroleum, is a sustainable fuel that helps to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

Pyrolyse Friesland Campina Empyro Twence thumb

What is pyrolyse oil?

We produce pyrolysis oil and steam in the pyrolysis plant on the Boortorenweg in Hengelo. Non-reusable woody biomass forms the raw material for this factory. Oil is produced by applying extreme heat for a short period of time to the biomass. We call this process pyrolysis, hence the name pyrolysis oil.

Contributing to sustainability

Pyrolysis oil constitutes a good alternative to petroleum. Basically, in five seconds, the same thing happens that takes millions of years in the earth's crust. This makes it a sustainable fuel that is helping to drive down the use of fossil fuels. In the pyrolysis plant, besides non-reusable woody biomass, other materials can also be processed into oil. Successful tests have been conducted in the laboratory with, for example, grass verges or sunflower seeds. Products that we cannot use in the food chain. We are now examining whether we can use such residual products on a large scale. If we are able to convert these products into new raw materials, we are able to contribute even more to regional sustainability and a biobased economy. This is a cycle that is based on organic raw materials.

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About the Empyro plant

The pyrolysis process was originally developed at the University of Twente decades ago. The Enschede-based company BTG-BTL then spent years fine-tuning the technique. The pyrolysis plant was built in 2015 at the location on the Boortorenweg in Hengelo. As of 1 January 2019, the factory will be in the hands of Twence. It is the first pyrolysis plant in the world that can produce oil on this scale. The technology comes from BTG bioliquids in Hengelo and we are working intensively with them to optimise the process further.

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Processchema Empyro

How does the process of making pyrolysis oil work?

The biomass, which is the residue of pellets for wood-burning fireplaces, is heated with sand. Pyrolysis vapour is produced during this heating process, which we then condense into cold pyrolysis oil. We recover as much energy and raw materials as possible. The steam produced is used, for example, in our own process and supplied to industry and the heat network. We supply the pyrolysis oil to customers such as FrieslandCampina.

Processchema Empyro


Aardolie besparing
Sustainable alternative for petroleum
From biomass we make a new raw material, pyrolysis oil. This oil is a sustainable alternative to petroleum.
Energy for 8,000 households
Sustainable energy production from the pyrolysis plant is comparable to the natural gas consumption of 8,000 households.
Nieuwe grondstoffen
Processing other residual waste products into oil
The pyrolysis process provides ample opportunities to process other residual waste products into oil. This enables us to bring even more new raw materials back into the chain.
Any questions or comments?

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