Transforming carbon-rich waste gases and residues into commodity fuel and chemical products


Many industrial processes such as steel production produce high levels of carbon-rich waste gases (including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and methanol), which continue to increase global GHG emissions without some form of carbon capture. Other air pollutants are also generated during these processes.

2) Summary of the technology:

  • LanzaTech is addressing the problem of waste carbon through a new approach to carbon capture and reuse, using a gas-to-liquid technology to produce low-carbon chemicals and fuels that displace petroleum, without the environmental issues of crop- and land-based bioproducts.
  • The process converts carbon-rich wastes and residues produced by industries such as steel manufacturing and oil refining, as well as gases generated by agricultural residues and municipal waste, into commodity fuel and chemical products by using gas fermentation (example – 2,3-Butanediol from steel mill waste gases is a chemical used for the production of nylon and rubber).
  • Carbon-rich waste gas streams enter a fermentation bioreactor, where naturally-occurring microbes consume the gas and grow biomass, producing ethanol as a byproduct. Valuable products are then separated from the fermentation broth – to date, 20 chemicals have been produced, as well as fuel grade bio-ethanol.

3) Organizational stakeholders: Industrial waste managers, product manufacturers that utilize chemicals produced, chemical distributors, fuel companies

4) Steps in deploying this technology:

1) Complete initial proof-of-concept projects utilizing carbon-rich waste gases from different industries

2) Establish relationships with environmental groups and governments to promote carbon capture & reuse

3) Form partnerships with chemical distributors and fuel companies who will purchase products generated through LanzaTech’s process


One thought on “Transforming carbon-rich waste gases and residues into commodity fuel and chemical products

  1. I like where this technology is going. Some thoughts on it from the supply-side are that it looks like this technology right now are for large, stationary industrial productions centers. This would certainly be effective in removing large percents of CO2 production, and good to start w/ the low-hanging fruit. I wonder if it would be scaleable to smaller business or individual use taking out a large percent of small CO2 producers in aggregate? This would have to account for both technology and cost.

    On the production side, I see in the chart “Food” has an output and would like to learn more about recycling the industrial carbon and re-channeling into organic (carbon-based) matter. Making more ethanol may result in just another fuel source that will end up back in the atmosphere.


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