July 21, 2010 Sean McWard

LanzaTech Signs First Commercial Partnership Deal

Auckland, 21st June 2010- New Zealand clean technology company LanzaTech will work with China’s largest steel and iron conglomerate, Baosteel, and the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) to commercialize its technologies for producing fuel ethanol from steel mill off gases.
During a ceremony held on June 20th at a dinner hosted by LanzaTech at the New Zealand Pavilion within the Shanghai World Expo, both a partnership letter of intent between Baosteel and LanzaTech, and a three way research alliance between Baosteel, CAS, Bureau of Life Science and Technology, and LanzaTech were signed.

Baosteel Metal and LanzaTech will construct a demonstration plant at one of Baosteel’s steel mills, with the intention of quickly scaling the model again toward the construction of the first fully commercial plant in China.  The demonstration facility is expected to be in operation in the second half of 2011.

Traditional technologies are restricted to the use of food resources for ethanol production. LanzaTech has developed a proprietary gas fermentation technology that allows the use of off-gases from the steel industry for fuel ethanol production. LanzaTech and Baosteel will work with CAS scientists to accelerate the deployment of this technology and to jointly research, develop and commercialize related technologies. This approach provides a strategically important alternative to the use of food resources and reduces carbon emissions from industry which supports China’s energy policy.

“China is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and reducing its need for imported fuel, while continuing to increase its industrial output” said Dr. Sean Simpson, cofounder and chief scientist for LanzaTech. As one of China’s industry leaders and pioneers in world class clean steel technologies, Baosteel strives to work with new technologies that support its environmentally conscious operating strategy.”

Baosteel is aware that increases in economic growth and industrialisation are traditionally associated with high polluting technologies.  To break this paradigm, they are positioning themselves to be a leader in the field of low carbon, recyclable and environmentally friendly steel products.

LanzaTech has successfully run a pilot plant using its proprietary technology to produce ethanol from steel mill flue gases at NZ Steel at Glenbrook in Auckland since 2008. A demonstration plant is the last stage before commercial operation.

The free trade agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and China has given LanzaTech the opportunity to secure these pivotal partnerships and commercialize the world leading proprietary low carbon clean technology which will reduce carbon emission and benefit the environment.

LanzaTech was founded in early 2005 to develop and commercialize proprietary technologies for the production of lowest cost fuel ethanol from gases produced by the steel industry. LanzaTech has expanded the focus of its process development program to include synthesis gas from biomass gasification. Its gas fermentation technology is being applied to enable the production of fuels from either industrial waste gas or biomass syngas.

CAS’ vice-president Dr Jiayang Li says: “The signing of Letter of Intent among CAS Bureau of Life Science and Technology, Bao Steel and LanzaTech to jointly set up R&D Center for Bioenergy is the innovation of multilateral cooperation in the area of bio-tech and bio-industry. This cooperation will play an active role in energy saving and emission reducing of steel industry and the development of bio-fuel.”

Bao Steel’s vice president, Zhou Zhu Ping says: “Baosteel has been aware of the steel industry’s trend towards new low carbon technologies in the field of sustainability. LanzaTech’s technology will enable Baosteel to move further in this new direction by converting steel mill off gases to ethanol”.