|Overview of the LanzaTech process. Click to enlarge.|
Worldwide industrial solutions company Harsco Corp. and LanzaTech have formed a strategic alliance to promote the capture and reuse of steel mill flue gases as an environmentally significant and beneficial source of energy.
The alliance agreement, signed 16 Aug. at Harsco’s world headquarters in Pennsylvania, taps into Harsco’s leadership serving the worldwide steel industry, in combination with LanzaTech’s proprietary bioenergy technologies for reducing the carbon footprint of integrated steelmaking operations by converting waste gas to ethanol and high value chemicals. Together, the two companies will jointly develop plans to present the LanzaTech biotechnology to Harsco’s major steel mill customers and explore potential business relationships for installing and operating commercial facilities at selected sites throughout the world.
|LanzaTech gas-to-liquids platform. Click to enlarge.|
Founded in 2005 in New Zealand, LanzaTech is the first company to successfully demonstrate production of fuel-grade ethanol from steel mill gases. Its proprietary novel gas fermentation technology converts the carbon monoxide-containing waste gases emitted by blast furnace, coke oven and BOF (basic oxygen furnace) operations into low-cost ethanol and high-value chemicals, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also providing a commercially scalable alternative to traditional ethanol production and its heavy reliance on agricultural food crops.
The CO-containing gas enters the process at the bottom of a bioreactor, and is dispersed into a liquid medium where it is consumed by LanzaTech’s proprietary microbes as the reactor contents move upward in the reactor vessel. The net product is withdrawn and sent to the product recovery section.
The product recovery section makes use of an advanced hybrid separation system to recover the products and co-products from the fermentation broth. The water is recovered and returned to the reactor system, minimizing water discharge from the process. The products and co-products are collected for downstream use.
The agreement with Harsco is intended to accelerate the introduction of this technology to steelmaking customers throughout the Americas, Europe and selected emerging markets. LanzaTech estimates that steel waste gases are a resource for some 30 billion gallons of ethanol per year. Waste gas from a 5 million tonne per year steel mill could convert to some 35 million gallons of ethanol.
Harsco’s commitment to minimizing the environmental impact of metal production processes is in line with the unique technology LanzaTech has developed. As heavy industries worldwide face an increasingly stringent regulatory climate, our relationships with committed partners such as Harsco respond to these challenges with technology-based solutions for a cleaner environment that also enable continued growth.—LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren
LanzaTech: Creating Something from Nothing; Alternative Route to Aviation Fuel (presentation by Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, 2011)