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Petronas and LanzaTech partner on CO2 to chemicals technology

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Petronas and Lanzatech are partnering to extend LanzaTech’s CO fermentation technology to consume CO2 for the production of acetic acid. Source: LanzaTech. Click to enlarge.

LanzaTech, a producer of low-carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gases, and Petronas, the national oil company of Malaysia, will work together to accelerate the development and commercialization of technologies to produce sustainable fuels and chemicals using CO2 as the carbon source.

LanzaTech’s proprietary fermentation process converts carbon monoxide in industrial waste gases, reformed natural gas and gas derived from any biomass source into low-carbon fuels and chemicals. LanzaTech and Petronas will work together to extend this technology to include CO2-containing gases from a variety of sources—including refinery off-gases and natural gas wells—to produce acetic acid, a high-value chemical with applications in the polymers and plastics markets.

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LanzaTech conceptual gas-to-liquids platform. Click to enlarge.

In the basic LanzaTech process, the CO-containing gas enters 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 The net product is withdrawn and sent to the product recovery section.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 valuable 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.

LanzaTech has talked about a broader gas-to-liquids approach that would also use CO2 and H2 from a variety of sources in addition to CO to enable the production of a range of chemicals, including ethanol and acetic acid (C2); i-propanol (C3); BDO, n-butanol, i-butanol and succinic acid (C4); isoprene (C5); and others. These would then undergo a variety of thermochemical conversions to produce hydrocarbon fuels, chemical intermediates, or olefins.

Petronas and LanzaTech have the ability to significantly impact the future of carbon capture by fundamentally changing the way we deal with waste CO2. Rather than trying to sequester carbon deep into the earth, we will ‘bury’ it in a chemical. In this way, companies can not only comply with emissions reduction requirements, but also generate revenue along the way.

—LanzaTech CEO, Jennifer Holmgren

The joint development agreement (JDA) builds on the relationship between the two companies established earlier this year when Petronas Technology Ventures SdnBhd (PTVSB), the venture arm of Petronas, invested in LanzaTech’s Series C round.

We invested in LanzaTech because we saw an opportunity for Petronas to benefit from the integration of LanzaTech’s technology in multiple areas of our business. This is a natural extension of LanzaTech’s core gas fermentation technology.

—Haida Shenny Hazri, CEO of PTVSB

Petronas is the national oil and gas company of Malaysia and is wholly-owned by the Government of Malaysia. Business activities include (i) the exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas in Malaysia and overseas; (ii) the liquefaction, sale and transportation of LNG; (iii) the processing and transmission of natural gas and the sale of natural gas products; (iv) the refining and marketing of petroleum products; (v) the manufacture and sale of petrochemical products; (vi) the trading of crude oil, petroleum products and petrochemical products; and (vii) shipping and logistics relating to LNG, crude oil and petroleum products.

Currently operating a pre-commercial facility in China using steel mill off-gases for ethanol production, LanzaTech is targeting full commercial operation for 2013.

Comments

A D

It's been a while that i say to capture the pollution exiting dirty chineys and convert this into fuels and recirculate it at the input.

HarveyD

It could be worthwhile to capture and recycle the CO2 (10+ tons/year) coming out of the tail pipe of every large gas guzzler?

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