LanzaTech, ReCarbon, Woodside team up on carbon capture and utilization project in Australia

March 20, 2022 |

You heard Jennifer Holmgren as a keynote speaker last week at the ABLC in Washington, D.C., and we’ve covered LanzaTech’s going public news with their $2.2 billion SPAC merger, but just in is breaking news that they are collaborating in a new carbon capture and utilization project in Western Australia with ReCarbon and Woodside Energy.

In today’s Digest, the project details, while you may know LanzaTech, exactly who are ReCarbon and Woodside Energy, what does this project mean, reactions from the stakeholders, and more.

The Project

They call it a “collaboration” between LanzaTech, ReCarbon, and Woodside Energy and they will be working together on investigating the viability of a proposed Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) pilot facility in Perth, Western Australia. It’s a collaborative studies program aimed at converting carbon emissions into useful products.

The proposed pilot facility would recycle greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane into value-added ethanol using ReCarbon and Lanzatech’s technologies. The ReCarbon technology would convert carbon dioxide and methane into synthesis gas, with the LanzaTech technology fermenting the synthesis gas into ethanol. Traditionally, ethanol manufacture relies on land and water use for source crops, such as corn. CCU reduces the reliance on these natural resources.

The project is now in the front-end engineering design phase.

Who are they?

Woodside is a leading Australian energy producer. ReCarbon is a US-based technology developers. And you probably already know all about LanzaTech if you are a frequent Digest reader, but if not, you can read up on them here in “Recycling CO2: The Digest’s 2021 Multi-Slide Guide to LanzaTech”.

Why is Woodside, an energy producer interested in this? Simply put, Woodside believes CCU is an emerging field with growing demand from existing and potential customers seeking alternative solutions for lower carbon. This collaboration and proposed pilot demonstrate Woodside’s commitment to developing new energy products and lower-carbon services.

Woodside aims to thrive through the energy transition by building a low-cost, lower-carbon, profitable, resilient and diversified portfolio. Woodside’s climate strategy has two key elements: reducing Woodside’s net equity Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions, and investing in the products and services that its customers need as they reduce their emissions. In 2021, Woodside set a US$5 billion investment target by 2030 for new energy products and lower-carbon services such as hydrogen, renewables and carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS).

Woodside’s hydrocarbon business is complemented by a growing portfolio of hydrogen, ammonia and solar opportunities in Australia and internationally. Their new energy opportunities include the proposed hydrogen and ammonia projects H2Perth and H2TAS in Australia and the proposed hydrogen project H2OK in North America.

ReCarbon was founded in 2011 and is the developer of a commercial proprietary microwave plasma technology applied to the conversion of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane) to syngas (hydrogen and carbon monoxide). Based in California, USA with a global operational footprint, ReCarbon is deploying its disruptive, combustion-free, climate-positive technology in plants and projects worldwide, producing revenue and reducing costs in targeted hard-to-abate industry sectors.

And LanzaTech you probably already know all about, but essentially, they harness the power of biology and big data to create climate-safe materials and fuels. With expertise in synthetic biology, bioinformatics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning coupled with engineering, Illinois-based LanzaTech has created a platform that converts waste carbon into new everyday products that would otherwise come from virgin fossil resources. LanzaTech’s first commercial scale gas fermentation plant has produced over 30 million gallons of ethanol which is the equivalent of keeping over 150,000 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. Additional plants are under construction globally and this new pilot collaboration will likely add to that list.

Reactions from the stakeholders

Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill described CCU as an exciting addition to the portfolio as it looked at carbon as an opportunity and resource, not just a challenge.

“What’s notable about CCU is the wider co-benefits. Some end products have a further decarbonization benefit. Products such as ethanol can be used as raw materials in the chemical manufacturing industry.

“We also see a potential role for the technology in helping to abate some of our Scope 1 and 2 emissions,” she said.

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator is currently leading a co-design process to develop a carbon capture use and storage method under the Emissions Reduction Fund.

ReCarbon Founder and CEO Dr. Jay Kim welcomed the collaboration.

“The global energy and fuel sector is experiencing unprecedented transition. We are grateful to be selected as a leading technology solution to transform greenhouse gases into decarbonised products. Woodside is moving decisively by establishing real projects with its CCU initiative, and ReCarbon is proud to play our part,” he said.

LanzaTech CEO Dr. Jennifer Holmgren noted the scale of the opportunity.

“Waste carbon can be transformed into critical resources like ethanol without adding CO2 to the atmosphere. Together with Woodside and ReCarbon, we can create an opportunity to reuse greenhouse gases for meaningful applications,” she said.

Bottom Line

It’s no surprise Jennifer Holmgren was ABLC’s keynote speaker, or that their project was voted #1 in the Hottest 50 Projects in the Bioeconomy this year for their Beijing Shougang LanzaTech New Energy Technology work in China, or that they are going public and merging in a $2.2 billion deal, so this news of a new pilot project in Western Australia shouldn’t be a surprise either, but it is fantastic news for yet another way LanzaTech is moving us towards a “post pollution world”.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Top Stories

Thank you for visting the Digest.