Sustainable energy for the generations to come

Based on pyrolisis oil made from woodchips

3 May 2016

In 2015, FrieslandCampina Ingredients put a new, sustainable technology into use: a specifically designed energy system supplied by pyrolisis oil made from woodchips. Empyro, a subsidiary of BTG-BTL in Hengelo, produces the oil and designed the boiler that was put into use at FrieslandCampina for the first time.

Climate-neutral growth

‘As the first buyer of this oil, FrieslandCampina entered into a long-term partnership with BTG-BTL for application of this promising technology and for further development of this’, according to Jos Heutinck, environment/energy coordinator of the FrieslandCampina Domo location in Borculo.

Now three lorries daily deliver the pyrolysis oil that is burnt in the boiler and thus generates steam. ‘This process is a world first’, Rudi van de Arend, sustainability manager of the location, tells us. ‘As from the first idea in 2011, we have worked together with BTG-BTL on a development process in which production and use of the pyrolysis oil run parallel.’ The new boiler worked at 70 percent of its capacity by the end of 2015. Thanks to further optimisation and fine-tuning, the full capacity of the boiler will be used in 2016. With this we annually save about 10 million m3 of natural gas.

A new plant was built in Borculo in view of the growing demand for special milk powders and infant nutrition. As FrieslandCampina wants to grow energy-neutrally as well as climate-neutrally, we actively looked for energy applications that could help us achieve this.

Circular approach
Therefore the plans of FrieslandCampina in Borculo with sustainable energy go beyond this, according to Rudi van de Arend: ‘Actually, our greatest wish is to be able to get all energy we need for the production process from our own chain. For this reason we have plans to obtain sustainably produced biogas from the nearby fermentation system “Groot Zevert” in 2017.’ For this a pipeline of about 6 kilometres is to be laid. This gas is produced from cattle manure coming from FrieslandCampina dairy farms. This circular approach is even more actualised as residual flows from the plant, such as organic sweeping waste of powders, are led back into the fermentation system and thus become a source of energy. This will even more reduce the CO2 emission by 8000 tonnes per year.

Jos Heutinck foresees great opportunities for the new technologies: ‘If this is possible here in Borculo, then it can also be applied at many other FrieslandCampina production locations.’

‘We supply products for generations to come: sustainable energy is an integral part of this!’