December 16, 2020 Freya Burton

CarbonSmart™ Milestones for LanzaTech

Carbon capture at scale hits new heights!

In the five years since the Paris Climate agreement, there is an increased sense of urgency in how we treat carbon and how quickly we can begin to move the needle on climate change. During a year when good news stories were hard to come by, LanzaTech is sharing some notable milestones from the first commercial plant in China.

In November, the Shougang commercial carbon recycling facility reached 150 days of full capacity continuous operation, a significant achievement for a first of a kind technology at scale. Production at the site itself has exceeded 20M gallons of ethanol since startup which is the equivalent of keeping 100,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.

The Skokie, Illinois based team have been tracking the plant’s progress with an onsite and virtual carbon clock, where on Dec 2, they watched as the carbon counter ticked over 100,000 tons of CO2 abated.

“In a tough year, these achievements are worth celebrating! It is pretty amazing to be mitigating emissions and converting them into valuable products,” said Jennifer Holmgren, LanzaTech CEO, who this year saw cleaning products made with LanzaTech ethanol hit the stores with Swiss company, Mibelle, as well as the first packaging created from LanzaTech ethanol for L’Oréal hair products. “To bend the carbon curve, we need to create value from waste and we are showing it is possible with real volumes of carbon abated.”

As part of the celebrations, LanzaTech reached out to local Skokie brewery, Sketchbook Brewing to see if the gas fermentation milestones could be translated into more traditional fermentation and used as the inspiration for a celebration beer.

“LanzaTech polled their employees to choose a style they would like,” said Cesar Marron, Sketchbook’s head brewer. “Hoppy and Saison were the most picked. So, since New Zealand is where LanzaTech was founded we thought it would make sense to use New Zealand Hops in this batch. The beer is a dry, effervescent saison with a nice spiciness and citrus peel flavor. Great on its own, or paired with your favorite cheese, bread, or any other food really.”

The result? A beer called “The 150” referring to the 150 days of continuous gas fermentation at commercial scale, with the actual daily production graph incorporated into the label design. While the LanzaTech team will be celebrating together apart with a few virtual beer tastings over the holidays, Sketchbook is offering limited quantities of this unique brew—available for pickup or delivery from their Evanston or Skokie locations.