LanzaTech, Siemens to convert steel off-gases into bioethanol

19 June 2013 17:16  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--New Zealand gas fermentation technology provider LanzaTech and German specialty products manufacturer Siemens are collaborating to develop a process to convert steel mill-off gases into bioethanol, the companies announced on Wednesday.

LanzaTech and Siemens’s metal technology unit have signed a 10-year agreement to develop and market the integration and optimisation of the process, which is based on LanzaTech’s fermentation technology.

An average of 1.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted for every 1 tonne of steel produced, and the gases are either flared or used to create process heat and electric energy within the plant.

LanzaTech’s fermentation process will allow steel plants to use the carbon monoxide (CO), CO2, hydrogen (H2) and other off-gases in the production of bioethanol or other basic chemicals such as acetic acid, acetone, isopropanol, n-butanol or 2,3-butanediol.

“Global demand for affordable and sustainable energy has never been stronger,” said Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. “Carbon emissions from steel mills can create an important new source of energy while simultaneously reducing emissions.”

The iron and steel industry must find the most cost-efficient ways to operate while increasing production, said Norbert Petermaier, senior vice president at Siemens Metals Technologies. In addition, it must reach “ambitious targets” for emission reductions set by the government.

“That's why Siemens is concentrating on solutions which will help steel manufacturers to achieve both goals,” Petermaier said. “LanzaTech's unique CO/CO2 bio-fermentation is exactly such an opportunity and fits perfectly together with the leading position of Siemens as green solution provider for the industry.”

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By: Tracy Dang
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