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updated: 8/14/2013 10:50 AM

Roselle's LanzaTech partners in India to create new biofuel process

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Roselle-based LanzaTech, a producer of low-carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gases, has partnered with the Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy in India to create a process for the direct production of low carbon fuels from industrial carbon dioxide emissions.

The application of LanzaTech's gas fermentation technology will enable a new supply of biofuels, creating economic growth and reducing CO2 emissions across India, the company said in a release.

LanzaTech and the Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy, a joint venture between Indian Oil Corporation, Ltd. and the Indian government's Department for Biotechnology, will leverage each other's expertise to create a new process for the direct conversion of waste CO2 into "drop-in" fuels through an acetates-to-lipids pathway. LanzaTech has developed gas fermentation technology that can directly convert waste CO2 gases into acetates. The Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy is working to increase the production yield of lipids (oils) by "feeding" acetates to microalgae. The resulting oils can then be refined into fuels using a range of existing processing technologies.

"India has made it a national priority to balance its meteoric economic growth with environmental and social sustainability," said Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. "By converting India's industrial waste CO2 emissions into low carbon fuels and chemicals, LanzaTech and the Centre can reduce overall emissions while creating a sustainable, domestic supply of transportation fuels."

Dr. R.K. Malhotra, director of research and development of Indian Oil and head of the DBT-IOC Centre, said that "any developments leading to useful conversion of carbon dioxide are most desirable," and expressed hope that DBT-IOC Centre will come up with viable solutions in association with LanzaTech.

LanzaTech has already been working with Indian Oil, India's largest national oil company, to develop a domestic ethanol supply chain by leveraging LanzaTech's technology with a range of carbon-containing waste streams widely available in India, including industrial carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from steel plants. India is projected to become the world's second largest steel producer by 2015, providing a significant opportunity to produce biofuel. LanzaTech estimates that hundreds of millions of gallons of ethanol could be produced annually by utilizing waste CO from steel mills.

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