August 24, 2010 Sean McWard

LanzaTech Produces Key Chemical Building Block from Waste Gases

Auckland, August 24, 2010:  LanzaTech has successfully produced 2,3-Butanediol (2,3-BD), a key building block used  to make polymers, plastics and hydrocarbon fuels, using the company’s gas fermentation technology.
LanzaTech CEO Dr Jennifer Holmgren says the New Zealand clean tech company is the first to demonstrate that this platform chemical can be produced via fermentation from gases. LanzaTech has shown 2,3-BD production from waste gas resources in an industrial setting.

LanzaTech’s microbial gas fermentation process potentially enables chemicals production to be decoupled from petroleum and valuable food resources. Conventional approaches for the production of polymers and plastics require chemical building blocks normally prepared from the cracking of petroleum or through fermentation of sugars. However, LanzaTech’s process uses nonfood, low value gas feed stocks, including industrial waste gases such as those produced by steel mills, oil refineries, coal manufacturing , syngas from landfill-waste and reformed natural gas.

2,3-BD can be readily converted to intermediaries like butenes, butadiene and methyl ethyl ketone that are used in the production of hydrocarbon fuels and a variety of chemicals including polymers, synthetic rubbers, plastics and textiles.

“LanzaTech is now able to offer an integrated waste gas to fuels and chemicals technology that is both economically and environmentally sound,” Dr Holmgren says. “Commercial viability of novel routes requires the integration of diverse approaches. This development means our process can deliver considerable financial returns from the sale of high value products while curbing industrial greenhouse gas emissions.”