LanzaTech; Baosteel Group Corporation,China’s largest steel and iron conglomerate; and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have begun the construction of a plant that will use LanzaTech’s gas fermentation technology for the production of fuel ethanol from steel mill off-gases. (Earlier post.) LanzaTech uses proprietary bacteria to convert industrial waste gases into fuels and chemicals.
In February Lanzatech and Baosteel (the world’s third largest steel producer) signed a joint venture agreement that will see the construction of a 100,000 gallon per year demo plant, with the intention of quickly scaling the model again for the first commercial plant in China. The partners have also announced the intention to form a dedicated CAS, Baosteel and LanzaTech Research and Development Center to ensure the continued growth and evolution of this technology.
A new joint venture company, Shanghai Baosteel LanzaTech New Energy Company Ltd (上海宝钢朗泽新能源有限公司), has been set up to be responsible for delivering the successful demonstration unit and then a number of commercial production facilities.
In a ceremony in Shanghai, consultant to LanzaTech and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; Chairman Vinod Khosla; and CEO Dr. Jennifer Holmgren joined the President of Baosteel Group, He Wenbo, and the President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dr. Bai Chunli, to launch the start of construction on the demo plant’s foundations.
Dr Bai Chunli said that the collaboration between Baosteel, LanzaTech and CAS to construct the demo plant to transform steel mill flue gas into fuel ethanol using biotechnology will mark a new trail in the development of bioenergy. He also indicated that the collaboration between CAS, Baosteel and LanzaTech is the first test case of international collaboration in the CAS “Biotechnology Innovation and Bio-industry Promoting Program”.
LanzaTech has extended its technology to be able to produce key chemicals for the production of plastics, polymers and drop in fuels from carbon dioxide (CO2) as well as carbon monoxide.
Construction of the plant is expected to take six months and production will begin late in the third quarter of this year.