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LanzaTech and India’s Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy Research developing novel waste CO2 to fuels process

CO2 to acetic acid fermentation. Source: LanzaTech. Click to enlarge.

LanzaTech, a producer of low-carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gases, has partnered with the Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy, a joint venture between Indian Oil Corporation, Ltd. (IOC) and the Indian government’s Department for Biotechnology (DBT), to create a novel process for the direct production of low carbon fuels from industrial CO2 emissions.

LanzaTech and the Centre will leverage each other’s expertise to create a new process for the direct conversion of waste CO2 into drop-in fuels through an acetates-to-lipids pathway. LanzaTech has developed gas fermentation technology that can directly convert waste CO2 gases into acetates. (Earlier post.) The Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy is working to increase the production yield of lipids (oils) by “feeding” acetates to microalgae.

The resulting oils can then be refined into fuels using a range of existing processing technologies.

This unique application of LanzaTech’s gas fermentation technology is intended to enable a new supply of biofuels, creating economic growth and reducing CO2 emissions across India.

LanzaTech’s core proprietary fermentation process converts carbon monoxide (CO) in industrial waste gases, reformed natural gas and gas derived from any biomass source into low-carbon fuels and chemicals. In 2012, LanzaTech and Petronas began working together to extend this technology to include CO2-containing gases from a variety of sources to produce acetic acid, a high-value chemical with applications in the polymers and plastics markets. (Earlier post.)

LanzaTech has already been working with Indian Oil, India’s largest national oil company, to develop a domestic ethanol supply chain by leveraging LanzaTech’s technology with a range of carbon-containing waste streams widely available in India, including industrial carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from steel plants.

India is projected to become the world’s second largest steel producer by 2015, providing a significant opportunity to produce biofuel. LanzaTech estimates that hundreds of millions of gallons of ethanol could be produced annually by utilizing waste CO from steel mills.



A somewhat confusing article as the title implies that they are making fuels from CO2 which is possible but only with an energy input from somewhere. It is plausible that you could make ethanol from CO without an external energy resource as CO wants to go to CO2. It would also be possible to run CO in a gas turbine to generate electric power.


The figure says: "H2 energy source". If we only had unlimited supply of H2...

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