LanzaTech has developed the technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions from industrial applications and ferment them using bacteria to produce ethanol, which can be used in industrial chemicals and biofuel production. As of April 2021, LanzaTech held over 1,000 patents.
In 2018, LanzaTech partnered with Shougang Group (a leading Chinese iron and steel producer) to develop the world’s first commercial facility to convert industrial emissions to ethanol. The facility is located at the Jingtang Steel Mill in Hebei Province, China. In December 2020, LanzaTech announced that its Chinese facility had produced over 20 million gallons of ethanol from recycled steel mill emissions.
LanzaTech’s sustainable ethanol has been used in Swiss company Mibelle’s cleaning products, L’Oreal’s hair product packaging, Unilever's laundry capsules, and Coty’s fragrance products. LanzaTech has also partnered with the German chemical company BASF to develop n-octanol at laboratory scale, the carbon transformation startup Twelve to develop polypropylene from carbon emissions, and Spray Engineering Devices Limited (SED), a leading Indian engineering company to convert bagasse to ethanol in India.
In June 2020, LanzaTech announced a new venture, LanzaJet, to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) using low carbon intensity ethanol including some of its own fermented ethanol as well as low carbon ethanol from outside suppliers. LanzaTech has partnered with Mitsui & Co (a Japanese conglomerate), Suncor Energy (a Canadian oil and gas producer), and All Nippon Airways (the largest airline in Japan) for this new venture. LanzaTech has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Vattenfall (a Swedish utility company), Shell, and Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) to explore the production of synthetic SAF. LanzaTech will initially build a demonstration plant that can produce around 10 million gallons of aviation fuel per year, which is expected to be completed by 2022.
LanzaTech is also reported to be focusing on two more spin-off technologies: 1) using ethanol to produce ethylene, which is used to make both polyethylene for plastic bottles as well as clothing fibers, and 2) using bacteria used in the fermentation process to produce commercial proteins.
In August 2019, LanzaTech raised USD 72 million in a Series E round led by Novo Holdings. More recently, in May 2021, LanzaTech received USD 4.1 million from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to improve its existing technology to enable direct conversion of carbon dioxide to ethanol. In July 2021, LanzaTech was also among five other projects to have been selected by the US DOE to receive combined federal funding of over USD 5 million. Moreover, in June 2020, LanzaJet raised USD 25 million from Mitsui & Co and Suncor Energy to build its proposed sustainable aviation fuel demonstration plant.
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