LanzaTech, a producer of low-carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gases, has partnered with the Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy, a joint venture between Indian Oil Corporation, Ltd. (IOC) and the Indian government’s Department for Biotechnology (DBT), to create a novel process for the direct production of low carbon fuels from industrial carbon dioxide (CO2)emissions. This unique application of LanzaTech’s gas fermentation technology will enable a new supply of biofuels, creating economic growth and reducing CO2 emissions across India.
LanzaTech and the Centre will leverage each other’s expertise to 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.
“India has made it a national priority to balance its meteoric economic growth with environmental and social sustainability,” said Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. “By converting India’s industrial waste CO2 emissions into low carbon fuels and chemicals, LanzaTech and the Centre can reduce overall emissions while creating a sustainable, domestic supply of transportation fuels. We look forward to extending our technology platform and our existing partnerships in India as we work with the team at the Centre on this initiative.”
Dr. R K Malhotra, Director, (R&D) of Indian Oil and Head of the DBT-IOC Centre said that “Any developments leading to useful conversion of carbon dioxide are most desirable,” and expressed hope that DBT-IOC Centre will come up with viable solutions in association with LanzaTech.
LanzaTech has already been working with Indian Oil, India’s largest national oil company, to develop a domestic ethanol supply chain by leveraging LanzaTech’s technology with a range of carbon- containing waste streams widely available in India, including industrial carbon monoxide (CO) 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. LanzaTech estimates that hundreds of millions of gallons of ethanol could be produced anually by utilizing waste CO from steel mills.
Secretary, Department of Bio-Technology, Government of India, Dr. Vijay Raghavan, said that “DBT- IOC Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy should act as a connect for new ideas and if found suitable all efforts should be made for scale up and commercialization.” He further advised that appropriate international co-operations should be in place to expedite developments.
Mr. R S Butola, Chairman of Indian Oil welcomed this initiative and assured all management support to the Centre in this advanced area of research. He opined that timely scale-up, costing and commercialization should always be the focus of research.
LanzaTech is a leader in gas fermentation technology. It provides novel and economic routes to fuels and high value chemicals from waste gas streams. LanzaTech’s unique process provides a sustainable pathway to produce platform chemicals that serve as building blocks to products that have become indispensable in our lives such as rubber, plastics, synthetic fibers and fuels.
LanzaTech’s technology solutions mitigate carbon emissions from industry without impacting adversely food or land security. Having built and operated two demonstration plants in China using steel mill off gases for ethanol production, LanzaTech, a company founded in New Zealand is now a global organization with full commercial operation targeted for 2014.
Source: LanzaTech, press release, 2013-08-14.