This article originally appeared with the headline Ineos goes down the Fischer Tropsch route to ethanol from municipal waste. The process will use algae to convert carbon dioxide and hydrogen into ethanol not a chemical catalyst. This has been corrected in the first paragraph.
Ineos is to use municpal waste and algae to make ethanol according to a press release from the company, reported on ICIS news and in newspapers like the Times today.
I like this technology, as you'll know by now and I think that it is important that it is being widely talked about in the press in the UK. It might help move policy in a direction that I'd favour away from using food as fuel.
Ineos looks to be licensing technology based around Clostridium Ljungdahlii a microbe that likes concentrations of carbon dioxide and hydrogen, and helpfully excretes ethanol.
The technology was reported in Green Car Congress in 2005. It was developed by Bioengineering Resources near Fayetteville, Arkansas. There is a patent about the Biological production of ethanol from waste gases with Clostridium ljungdahlii on Patent Storm. You'll need to work your way down to example 10. Good things clearly come too those who dig around a little.
What's not clear in the releases that I've seen is the level of sorting of municipal waste that is needed and the yields using this bacterium. Or whether it would be possible to use it as a way of dealing with plastics waste. Would it be cost effective to mine landfill? And what are the terms of the relationship with Bioengineering Resources.