Robert Conrado of LanzaTech opened the Thursday morning panel of the BIO World Congress focusing on the many new uses for utilizing CO2. Similar to the panelists, LanzaTech is on the forefront of using CO2 for the conversion of valuable fuels and chemicals.
CO2 Solutions focused on the many new opportunities for biotech that arise by harnessing nature for carbon capture and in turn reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions and addressing climate change.
While CO2 capture is not a new market, currently it is a $400M + market as an industrial input/commodity, conventional CO2 capture is costly. CO2 Solutions is aiming to deal with these challenges through the efficient management of CO2 through biotechnology. Using natures solution, the industrial long, to manage CO2 allows for lower costs, lower degradation, and higher stability – all of which are attractive to customers.
CO2 Solutions flagship project at the Canadian Oil Sands focuses on enhanced oil recovery (EOR). With the use of CO2, 1 tonne of carbon produces 2-4 barrels of oil. While EOR is currently using natural CO2, it is a declining resource and in the future EOR will have to utilize industrial sources and the industry is ready to facilitate.
Proterro is utilizing CO2 a little differently by making sugars from waste CO2. Their low cost sucrose unlocks the economical production of biofuels and chemicals. UtilIzing CO2 has allowed Proterro the price volatility crop based sugars face. The end product takes the form of a drop in sugar feedstock. Proterro’s technology compliments both 1st and 2nd generation ethanol while producing clean sucrose.
Elcriton has developed microbial catalysts and bioprocess that generate next generation biofuels with feedstock flexibility. Elcriton is able to utilize biomass crops, biomass waste, and other wastes including gaseous wastes. Focusing on the new feedstock that is CO2, Elcriton is working to take advantage of its availability by developing microbial catalysts and industrial bioprocesses that generate next-generation biofuels and petrochemical replacements.
Joule is focused on their direct CO2 to fuels platform. Joule has the opportunity to utilize CO2 where no biomass is required. Their ability to produce multiple drop in products reflects the technology advancements coupled with a stable supply. This direct conversion of abundant inputs to drop in fuels allows for sustainable production for generations to come.
These abundant inputs, infrastructure ready products, and the ability to monetize CO2 enables the growth of a much needed industry through biotechnology that can not only utilize a waste gas but also address the issue of CO2 emissions and global climate change.
Source: Biotechnology Industry Organization, press release, 2014-05-19.
Author: Kate Shenk