LanzaTech: Biofuels Digest’s 5-Minute Guide (Q1 2013 update)

January 8, 2013 |

Address: 725-C E. Irving Park Road, Roselle, IL. USA 60172

Year Founded: 2005

Company description:

LanzaTech has developed a fully sustainable integrative gas to fuels and chemicals platform that has no impact on food, water security or high biodiversity land use.

The proprietary gas-to-liquid platform produces fuels and high value chemicals such as 2,3-butanediol (2,3 BDO) and acetic acid from a variety of waste gas resources.

The production of ethanol and 2,3 BDO is significant for the alternative aviation fuels industry as LanzaTech has successfully converted these products into fully synthetic jet fuel via catalytic and thermochemical routes, together with a conversion partner. 2,3 BDO can also be converted into butadiene, a high-volume intermediate for production of plastics, rubber and nylon.

LanzaTech’s technology platform uses different microbial strains to produce products from gases that contain carbon monoxide (CO)-with or without hydrogen (H2)- or gases containing carbon dioxide (CO2) and H2 providing a novel approach to carbon capture and reuse.

LanzaTech’s biological microbes can utilize the lowest cost, most readily available gas resources including waste industrial flue gases from steel mills, processing plants and refineries; syngas generated from any biomass resource (such as municipal biowaste, organic industrial waste, and agricultural waste); coal derived syngas; and reformed natural gas are all resources for the LanzaTech gas fermentation process.

Latest News

Landed #3 in the 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy

Landed #7 in the 30 Hottest Companies in Renewable Chemicals

Profiled in: 12 Bellwether Biofuels Projects for 2013

Won Biofuels Digest’s 2012 Partnership of the Year Award: BaoSteel, LanzaTech

Featured in: What’s China up to now? Making fuel from waste steel gas, for one.

Featured in: China Steel, LCY Chemical form JV to commercialize LanzaTech advanced biofuels technology

Major Investors:

Dialog Group Berhad, K1W1, Khosla Ventures, Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund (MLSCF),PETRONAS Technology Ventures, Qiming Venture Partners

3 Top Milestones for 2009-12

 

  1. Series B and C investment: $18 million and $55.6 million respectively.
  2. Construction of a 100, 000 gallons per year demonstration plant in collaboration with BaoSteel
  3. Partnership agreements in place globally including eight Global Fortune 500 Companies across multiple sectors (steel, coal, oil refining, aviation, biomass/MSW and chemicals)

3 Major Milestone Goals for 2013-15

  1. First commercial facility in operation at a steel mill in China; producing 30 million gallons of ethanol per year
  2. Demonstrate production of C4 chemicals
  3. Initiate 2 additional commercial facilities

Business Model: (e.g. owner-operator, technology licensor, fee-based industry supplier, investor)

Two business models: technology licensor and part owner-operator by way of JVs. Business model for any specific project determined by location and customer preference. Either model capital light as plant fully funded by customer/JV partner.

Competitive Edge(s):

Global platform for sustainable gas fermentation.

Waste gases from Industry

The LanzaTech process is the only process that converts waste gases to fuels and chemicals, from any source of CO or CO2. LanzaTech has proven its gas fermentation process using industrial waste gases with its proprietary microbe. Waste gases have never been used before as a nutrient source as the conditioning process makes it economically unfeasible. LanzaTech’s microbe does not require the gases to be conditioned and so they are able to use this available low cost waste product as a nutrient for growth. A unique strength of LanzaTech is its in-house synthetic biology capability, which allows for engineering and further development of its microbe, enabling the expansion of a diverse product slate into higher value chemical markets going forward.

Fuels and chemicals through carbon capture, reuse and sequestration

LanzaTech’s strategy is to diversify its product portfolio beyond ethanol to key chemical intermediates and drop in aviation fuels through developing key technology partnerships. Diversification mitigates market risk by ensuring that the company has commercially viable options to meet changing demands.

Through LanzaTech’s process, carbon (as CO or CO2) is successfully captured and safely sequestered into new chemical products, such as butadiene and isobutylene. Isobutylene is one of the most important petrochemical building blocks that can be converted into fuels, plastics, organic glass and elastomers. It can also be directly converted to polymers and jet fuel relevant C8-C12 molecules.

LanzaTech is working with Global Bioenergies, whose core technology consists in a proprietary artificial pathway allowing the direct fermentative production of isobutylene from renewable resources. This pathway has so far been expressed in a classical production microorganism using carbohydrates such as glucose as feedstock. LanzaTech’s unique microbes, present a novel pathway that can use nonfood resources as feedstocks, specifically carbon monoxide gas, for isobutylene production.

Butadiene is used extensively in production of rubbers and other polymers and produced by dehydration of 2,3 BDO or directly by fermentation of CO. Production of butadiene is seen as critical, as it is typically produced as a by-product of ethylene derived from cracking naptha. However, natural gas availability and pricing is driving displacement of cracker derived C2’s, therefore reducing C4 olefin availability. LanzaTech’s joint development project with INVISTA will accelerate the 2,3 BDO optimisation work as well as develop a direct single step process to produce butadiene directly through a process of gas fermentation

LanzaTech’s unique microbes, through an effective biological carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology provide a novel path to chemical production with sound economics.

Research, or Manufacturing Partnerships or Alliances.

Research: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Swedish Biofuels, NICE, Tsinghua University, US Department of Energy, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Michigan Technological University, Delaware University, US Department of Transportation – Federal Aviation Administration and Volpe Center

Manufacturing partnerships: Baosteel, POSCO, Jindal Steel, LCY Chemicals, Indian Oil Company, Henan Coal and Chemical Company, Petronas: feedstock providers.

Mitsui and Harsco: strategic alliances,

Virgin Atlantic, Boeing: Aviation

INVISTA: Chemicals

Stage:
Demonstration operating in China

2nd Demonstration ETA Q4 2012

Website URL: www.lanzatech.com

Project information

Waste Gas to Fuel : LanzaTech Pilot Plant

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Materials or products produced ethanol Ethanol
Capacity (Millions of US gallons per years) 15, 000 gallons per annum
Year, month in service (planned or projected) 2008
Status: (Open, Under Construction, Planned) Open
Feedstock: Steel mill off gases
Processing technology (e.g. advanced fermentation, enzymatic hydrolysis) Gas Fermentation
Project notes, if any Pilot Project
EPC partner, if any

Waste Gas to Fuel: LanzaTech BaoSteel New Energy Co., Ltd.

Shanghai, China

Location: Shanghai, China
Materials or products produced ethanol Ethanol
Capacity (Millions of US gallons per years) 100,000 gallons per annum
Year, month in service (planned or projected) 2012
Status: (Open, Under Construction, Planned) Open
Feedstock: Steel mill off gases
Processing technology (e.g. advanced fermentation, enzymatic hydrolysis) Gas Fermentation
Project notes, if any Demonstration Project
EPC partner, if any

Waste Gas to Fuel: Beijing Shougang LanzaTech New Energy Technology Co., Ltd.

Location: Caofeidian, China
Materials or products produced ethanol Ethanol
Capacity (Millions of US gallons per years) 100,000 gallons per annum
Year, month in service (planned or projected) 2012- planned
Status: (Open, Under Construction, Planned) Under construction
Feedstock: Steel mill off gases
Processing technology (e.g. advanced fermentation, enzymatic hydrolysis) Gas Fermentation
Project notes, if any Demonstration Project
EPC partner, if any

Biomass Syngas to Fuel: LanzaTech Freedom Pines Biorefinery

Location: Soperton, Georgia
Materials or products produced ethanol Ethanol
Capacity (Millions of US gallons per years) 10 M gallons per annum
Year, month in service (planned or projected) 2013 planned
Status: (Open, Under Construction, Planned) Planned
Feedstock: Biomass syngas
Processing technology (e.g. advanced fermentation, enzymatic hydrolysis) Gas Fermentation
Project notes, if any Commercial Project
EPC partner, if any

MSW Syngas to Electricity and Fuel with Concord Enviro Systems PVT Ltd

 

Location: Aurangabad, India
Materials or products produced ethanol Ethanol
Capacity (Millions of US gallons per years) 100,000 gallons per annum
Year, month in service (planned or projected) 2013 planned
Status: (Open, Under Construction, Planned) Planned
Feedstock: Municipal solid waste
Processing technology (e.g. advanced fermentation, enzymatic hydrolysis) Gas Fermentation
Project notes, if any Demonstration Project
EPC partner, if any

Product information

Product Brand Name:

TBC

Product Description:

Fuel grade ethanol, 2,3 BDO, butadiene, acetic acid, isobutylene

Product Applications:

Ethanol: Fuel blending; conversion to drop-in jet fuel.

2,3 BDO/butadiene: conversion to hydrocarbon fuels, conversion to butadiene for rubbers, plastics and nylon market

Acetic acid: low cost production from LT, enables economic conversion to lipids and subsequent conversion to jet fuels.

Isobutylene: Can be converted into fuels, plastics, organic glass and elastomers. It can also be directly converted to polymers and jet fuel relevant C-12 molecules.

Unique Features (i.e.,what separates this product from the competition, whether bio-based or incumbent fossil-based products – e.g. cost, performance features).

LanzaTech is the only technology to have a diverse range of products derived from a wide variety of waste gases, including those from industry. These products can be produced through a process that requires no dedicated feedstock infrastructure and uses resources that are low cost and readily available. Gas resources can be fed directly into the LanzaTech process at source. This gas would otherwise be flared as a GHG-effectively making LanzaTech derived products novel ways unique stores of waste carbon.

Wholesale or retail Product price:

n/a

Parity price, e.g. competitive with $XX oil: (if applicable, in BPOE, US$)

Ethanol produced via LanzaTech technology when processing steel mill off-gases is cost competitive with ethanol produced via existing sugar and/or starch fermentation technologies.

CCOP/Gal for China Corn model is $2.33, US corn $1.81-$3.19, Brazil sugarcane $1.44

LanzaTech model using China BOF gas $1.28 and using China coal syngas $1.67

Website URL:

www.lanzatech.com

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