LanzaTech Partnership to Produce Low-Carbon Fuels from Waste CO2

by | Aug 15, 2013

LanzaTech carbon captureLanzaTech, a producer of low-carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gases, has partnered with India’s Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy to create a process for the direct production of low-carbon fuels from industrial carbon dioxide emissions.

The company says this application of its gas fermentation technology will enable a new supply of biofuels, creating economic growth and reducing CO2 emissions across India.

The Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy is a joint venture between Indian Oil Corporation and the Indian government’s Department for Biotechnology.

The partners say they’ll create a new process for the direct conversion of waste CO2 into “drop-in” fuels through an acetates-to-lipids pathway. LanzaTech has developed gas fermentation technology that can directly convert waste CO2 gases into acetates.

The Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy is working to increase the production yield of lipids (oils) by “feeding” acetates to microalgae. The resulting oils can then be refined into fuels using a range of existing processing technologies.

LanzaTech has already been working with Indian Oil, India’s largest national oil company, to develop a domestic ethanol supply chain by using LanzaTech’s technology with a range of carbon-containing waste streams widely available in India, including industrial carbon monoxide emissions from steel plants. India is projected to become the world’s second largest steel producer by 2015, providing a significant opportunity to produce biofuel, the company says.

LanzaTech estimates that hundreds of millions of gallons of ethanol could be produced annually by utilizing waste CO from steel mills.

In June, LanzaTech and Siemens Metals Technologies signed a 10-year cooperation agreement to develop and market LanzaTech’s fermentation technology to the steel industry. The process transforms carbon-rich off-gases generated by the steel industry into low carbon bioethanol and other platform chemicals.

Biofuel mandates and growth in the biochemicals industry are expected to triple demand for biomass by 2030, placing pressure on available feedstocks, according to a report published earlier this year by Lux Research. The report found that municipal solid waste and waste gases like CO2 have potential as feedstocks and said LanzaTech is poised to advance this technology.

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