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BASF invests in LanzaTech

BASF Venture Capital GmbH is to invest in LanzaTech. Using special microbes, LanzaTech has developed a technology for gas fermentation that first enables ethanol to be produced from residual gases containing carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

By re-using waste streams instead of incinerating them, industrial companies can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

LanzaTech’s patented technology is now being deployed at commercial scale in the steel industry where carbon monoxide from residual gases (off-gases) can be converted into ethanol. (Earlier post.) Ethanol can be used as the raw material for the production of diesel, gasoline or jet fuel and as a precursor to plastics and polymers.


LanzaTech’s commercial facility with steel producer Shougang in China, converting steel mill emissions into ethanol.

The company’s product portfolio includes additional biochemicals besides ethanol, such as chemical specialties and intermediates, that can be used as raw materials in other chemical production processes. The technology is also potentially suitable for treating and recycling waste streams in the chemical industry and for municipal waste disposal.

Investment from BASF will help us realize our goal of a Carbon Smart Future. BASF’s expertise in creating sustainable chemistry that benefits society aligns with our carbon recycling vision, where we capture and reuse waste carbon to make useful everyday items, displacing fossil feedstocks and keeping the sky blue for all.

—Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech



Electrolytic iron production is coming.  It will turn iron oxide directly into metal and oxygen, eliminating the use of coke as a reducing agent.

This will put LanzaTech out of business.


Electrolytic conversion of CO2 tot CO and of H20 to H2 is also comming, putting them back in business.


If you have pure CO and H2 and you want ethanol, you'll use something like a catalyst that's specific for ethylene and then hydrate it to make EtOH.  You won't be fermenting gases to make a weak soup you have to distill.

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