Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, Chief Executive Officer of LanzaTech, will deliver a compelling talk regarding LanzaTech's innovative process that uses waste gases to make sustainable fuels and chemicals.
Innovative Use of Waste Gases to Make Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals
LanzaTech was founded with a vision to be a dominant technology provider in the industrial bio-commodities arena, capturing and reusing waste carbon. The goal was simple: to develop and commercialize proprietary technologies for the production of low carbon fuels and chemicals that do not compromise food or land resources.
LanzaTech has developed game-changing technology that converts local, highly abundant, waste and low cost resources into sustainable, valuable commodities. The patented process uses a microbe to convert waste gas containing CO or CO2 (from industrial sources like steel mills and processing plants) or syngas generated from any biomass resource (e.g. municipal solid waste, organic industrial waste, agricultural waste) into fuels and chemicals.
LanzaTech’s process engineering expertise has been the driving force behind the company’s rapid scale-up and commercialization plan. Early stage process development requires science and engineering interaction to accelerate process scale-up, determining limits and working to overcome them. In the lab, LanzaTech’s microbes were grown on real process gas from the earliest days. A pilot plant has been in operation at a steel mill in New Zealand since 2008, demonstrating the ability to produce ethanol using CO from real-world industrial steel mill waste gases, with the microbe proven to be tolerant to most gas contaminants and to variations in gas composition and availability. Development work is carried out in scalable reactors.
In 2012, LanzaTech reached key development milestones when it became the first company ever to scale gas fermentation technology to a pre-commercial level. Working closely with its partner in China, Baosteel, LanzaTech developed and successfully operated a facility with an annualized capacity of 100,000 gallons of ethanol. The success with Baosteel helped accelerate the development and operation of a second facility (also 100,000 gal/year), with Capital Steel in Beijing.
Given the importance of environmental performance to LanzaTech’s process, life cycle analysis (LCA) is integrated into process development both in terms of assessment but also continuous improvement in the drive towards commercialization.