Auckland, New Zealand February 20, 2011: LanzaTech has signed a memorandum of understanding with Posco, one of the largest steel producers in the world, covering the implementation of its gas fermentation technology to convert the steel maker’s flue gases to ethanol and other value added products.
Posco is a Korean conglomerate with interests in steel, power, energy, engineering and construction. Its crude steel production for 2010 was 33.7 million tons.
LanzaTech uses non food renewable resources to produce ethanol and also 2,3-Butanediol (2,3-BD), a key building block used to make polymers, plastics and hydrocarbon fuels. It has investment from K1W1 (New Zealand), Khosla Ventures (US) and Qiming Venures (China) as well as funding from the New Zealand and US governments.
LanzaTech chief executive Dr Jennifer Holmgren says her team is delighted to have the opportunity to partner in technology with Posco, which has a research and development budget of 1.7% of consolidated revenue – that equated to US$476 million of US$28.1 billion in 2010.
“Posco’s environmentally conscious policies are consistent with LanzaTech’s technology vision of reducing the carbon footprint while increasing energy efficiencies at industrial facilities,” Dr Holmgren says. “The proposed licensing by Posco of our patented microbe and fermentation process fits with our growth strategy in Asia.”
Noi-Ha Cho, chief technology officer of Posco, says gas fermentation technology creates more value from by-products of the steel process.
“It provides a new way to produce green energy and it will also contribute to reducing CO2 in steel plants,” he says.