Team Yilkins

The Yilkins team is a very flexible team of individuals with a strong technical background, who are also able to manage and hoist the sails of the commercial side of business. The team is dedicated to the development and growth of Yilkins and its philosophy. All team members have a strong background and knowledge in biomass upgrading and application development.

“People’s talent: our real richness”

  • Yilkins stands for talented people, who are well combined, solidly coordinated and in constant state of development to create the sustainable
    societies we aspire to.
  • We believe not only in the intensity and diversity of our talent, but also in learning from our customers in the journey towards mutual achievements.

Rob Voncken 


  • Former executive director in biochemistry and materials (innovation and application)
  • Innovative entrepreneur in the bio-based business landscape

Robert Voncken is an entrepreneur in the bio-based business landscape. His skill-set is defined by his international experience as executive in the (bio) chemical industry. And further shaped with hands-on leadership positions in several leading innovative technology companies in the bio-based economy. He feels a great sense of responsibility to make a contribution to a sustainable environment for future generations. For him, working the Yilkins way, in an inspiring, human scale business environment with stakeholders who share the drive to build a true circular growth economy, is the way to turn challenges and risks into benefits.

Patrick Bergman 


  • Former project manager Research & Development
  • Consultant in design and optimization of biomass processes
  • “Think and do” in all thermal conversion processes
  • Authority in the field of torrefaction and gasification


Patrick brings to Yilkins 15 years’ experience in the development and operation of biomass conversion and waste treatment technologies. He represents the “Thinking & Doing” in applying biomass upgrading and cascading technologies: torrefaction, pyrolysis, gasification and combustion, distinguishing him from the mainstream. He underwent his learning curve from an early ECN start: reigniting and driving torrefaction research, through his consulyant period: conceptualizing and optimizing the biomass cascading processes and lately at a biomass conversion company: redesigning and demonstrating with his R&D team the operations of a 8kt/hr torrefaction process plant. Based on his educational background combined with his hands-on practical approach, he is considered one of the top authorities in the field.

Rob Boers 

 Installation & Operations

  • Former project manager (pellet and processing technology)
  • Practical experience in building and commissioning of drying, pelletizing, torrefaction, gasification and recycling plants.

Rob Boers possesses over 30 year of experience in construction, erection, commissioning and maintenance in the field of waste treatment and thermal processes. He has been involved in several thermal biomass projects based on gasification, drying and torrefation, where he was responsible for assembling the facilities. Previously he helt a position at Muench (Germany) where he was responsible for the improvement of grinding and densification (pellet press) technology. Rob is a major force in getting plants into operation and knows the details that create success. He has a very wide network of suppliers of equipment and equipment manufacturers and knows the best in the market. He is very practical and considered to be our factotum.

Ares Driessen 

 Project Management

  • Background in project  and operational management in several industrial organisations
  • More than 10 years of hands-on experience in engineering, procuring, operating and de-bottlenecking drying and torrefaction processing plants.

Ares is a goal oriented project and operations manager with a commercial mindset, analytical skills and strong people management skills. Sociable, with a broad interest and brings an entrepreneurial and innovative atmosphere. His background is in mechanical engineering with a specialty in process equipment design.

Jan Oltvoort 

 R&D, Proces Engineer

  • Research experience in biomass processing in several academic projects
  • Practical experience as process technician in several companies

Jan Oltvoort studied Chemical engineering at the University of Twente and during his internship period, he was working with Patrick to further develop the debottlenecking of the torrefaction process. Jan has proven to be a valuable force in the R&D and design of the Yilkins technology scope. In addition, he recently had a position in the field of small-scale combustion of biomass. He has a very analytical mind, but can also “feel” the phenomena he’s dealing with. Jan shares the passion of the Yilkins business concept and has the natural tendency to be exited to bring biomass conversion to the next stage in the energy transition.

Joris Spaan 

 Marketing, Business Development

  • Broad experience as Business Development manager
  • Consultant for companies and organizations in their transition to a new economic model: the circular economy.
  • A well balanced combination of business intuition, network and technical background

Joris is a specialist in the development and implementation of new business models in the bio-based economy with a special focus on biomass as primary material. As business manager he has a broad experience in business model transitions. He is particulary good at managing people and creating and keeping a healthy team. As a “bridge constructor” he is capable of bringing new ideas and new perspectives together to let them work successfully. He is always ready to take the lead in the development of sustainable entrepreneurship: from the idea and the design of a solid business case to the execution and implementation of the project.

Juan Carlos Estrada 

 Business Development

  • Experience as business developer and consultant
  • Multidisciplinary professional background: sustainable entrepreneurship, processes, the academy and the art
  • Ideal link between Spanish Speaking Countries and the Netherlands

Juan Carlos Estrada is specialized in communication (he studied Spanish Literature and Linguistic) in his work as business developer, teacher and writer. He has a multidisciplinary professional background in different fields: sustainable entrepreneurship, projects, the academy and the art. With his Spanish Speaking cultural background he is the ideal connexion between the Spanish Speaking Countries and the Netherlands. As project developer and advisor he has more than 5 years of experience with special focus on biomass upgrading processes and bio-based fuels production.

Machiel Lelieveld 

 Business Development

  • Former management team member of different companies (international)
  • More than 20 years experience in trade: primary materials and manufacturing of industrial commodities (also at international level)
  • Broad international network, mostly in Asia and Africa
  • Analytical capability and commercial insight

Machiel has over twenty years experience in the international trade of commodities. He worked as commercial director for a cocoa processing factory in Nigeria. He has extensive experience in the field of commodities, their side streams and waste products, but also in the processing industry. Through his extensive international experience, his language skills, and broad international network, he is able to set up business development for Yilkins in Asia and Africa. In addition to this he has good commercial skills, and can therefore be instrumental in realising sales for products made with Yilkins equipment.

Ivanka Meuleman 

 General Affairs & Purchasing

  • Former management team member in the industrial field, responsible for organization processes, human resources, supply and demand
  • Development of Solar Parks > 12 MWp
  • Member of theSupervisory Board in an organization in the field of sports and a healthy lifestyle

Ivanka has more than 15 years experience in the industrial sector and posseses a deep knowledge in this field. She is a specialist in structuring and designing organizational processes, including purchasing, HRM and administration. She is also a partner in a Solar Park developing company. Also she is a Supervisory Board member of an organization that promotes a healthy and active lifestyle. Because of her large work experience in different fields she is able to switch rapidly through all the stages from the conception of an idea to everything what involves the transformation of it into a successful business.

Yilkins has substancially improved the torrefaction process. Yilkins pellets are the proof

  • Low chlorine content
  • High water resistance
  • High calorific value; product from 20 to 23 GJ/t
  • Considerable less pollution of the combustion plant
  • Combustion performance of boilers improves up to 10%
  • High abrasion resistance and low dust forming
  • Low volatile components concentration
  • High energy density
  • No additives needed to pelletize

Several researches point out that the torrefaction process sets chlorine free, which results in a significant reduction of this element in the end product from 50% to 90% in some specific cases. Therefore, the Yilkins pellets are the solution when a low chlorine level is required.

Because the Yilkins pellets are highly impermeable, they can be stored outdoor with minimal degradation risks. That means also a huge advantage for transportation purposes.

Due to the high calorific value the capacity of the biomass boiler can be increased – or the investment reduced with the same capacity – and more energy will be produced in the same combustion conditions.

The use of Yilkins pellets as biofuel produces less pollution in the boilers. That means a reduction in the operational costs due to less maintenance operations and less stops of the boilers.

Less pollution and the higher calorific value of the Yilkins pellets increase the combustion performance of the boilers up to 10%.

The high abrasion resistance of Yilkins pellets decreases significantly the dust forming in the process. The result of this is less production waste and considerable lower danger of dust explosions.

Due to the torrefaction process, volatile components in the feedstock, like chlorine, become unlocked in higher percentage. That reduces considerably the level of emissions of the end product.

The high energy density of Yilkins pellets makes them more water-resistant and less dusty than other pellets. This reduces the costs of transport and storage of the product.

The natural polymers of the biomass are better preserved with the Yilkins torrefaction technology. The use of any kind of binding agent for optimal pelletizing can be avoided, which reduces the production costs.

Download our brochure

Read all about our sustainable drying installations and its key features in our brochure. Enter your name and e-mail address and download the brochure in pdf!