LanzaTech waste-to-fuel tech goes trans-Tasman
12 Jun, 2012
LanzaTech, the company much lauded for its novel fermentation process to convert waste gases to low-carbon fuels and chemicals, has signed an agreement with New Zealand Steel.
The agreement gives New Zealand Steel and its Australian parent company Bluescope Steel the opportunity to use LanzaTech’s technology commercially.
Plants producing ethanol from waste gases
In 2008, LanzaTech built a successful pilot plant at New Zealand Steel’s mill at Glenbrook, South Auckland, which produces ethanol from waste gases. The ethanol is then further converted into aviation biofuel and fuel-grade ethanol, proving that LanzaTech’s proprietary fermentation process is scalable from the laboratory.
In the past few years, the company has attracted international attention, accolades and backing. The construction of the first 100 000 gallon-a-year demonstration-scale plant using LanzaTech technology is currently being completed in China, with further plants in China and India expected to begin construction later in 2012. Backed by global investment, the company now has offices in New Zealand, the US and China and has a rapidly growing patent portfolio.
Move to commercialisation
Dr Jennifer Holmgren, LanzaTech’s Chief Executive, says this latest agreement with New Zealand Steel reflects both LanzaTech’s move from technology development to technology commercialisation and also New Zealand Steel’s commitment to supporting innovative solutions for sustainable growth.
New Zealand Steel President Simon Linge says the agreement helps build their various investments in a sustainable manufacturing business and continues their commitment to lower the company’s environmental footprint.
LanzaTech’s process captures and diverts to fuel around a third of the carbon that would otherwise be emitted as CO2through the steelmaking process.
“LanzaTech’s process addresses all three sustainability pillars,” Dr Holmgren says. “The use of a waste gas as a feedstock means we are not impacting land use or the food-value chain while promoting economic growth and producing low-carbon fuels.”
Rolled steel products
New Zealand Steel Limited is the country’s sole producer of flat rolled steel products for the building, construction, manufacturing and agricultural industries. Using locally sourced ironsand, lime and coal, New Zealand Steel produces around 600 000 tonnes of steel each year using a direct reduction process, turning west coast black sand into metallic iron. Around 60% of its steel products are exported.
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- 12 June 2012