LanzaTech, Jianye Greentech projects move forward in China

By Holly Jessen | April 06, 2011

Two companies working on building ethanol plants in China announced progress in their project development in late March. Construction began on a demonstration plant that will produce ethanol from steel mill off-gases while another company said it had finalized its waste-to-fuel design for a commercial-scale plant.

The demonstration plant is a project of LanzaTech, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Baosteel Group Corp., which have formed a new joint venture company, Shanghai Baosteel LanzaTech New Energy Company Ltd. The plan is to build a 100,000 gallon-a-year facility in Shanghai, China, in six months, with production beginning late in the third quarter. The model will be quickly scaled up for the first commercial plant in China.

 “When our commercial plants, each potentially capable of producing 50 million gallons of ethanol a year, are built throughout China we believe our technology will make a sustainable contribution to meeting China’s renewable energy demands,” said Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of Lanzatech, based out of Chicago. “Who would have thought this possible a couple of years ago? Baosteel is breaking the paradigm that economic growth and industrialization are at odds with an environmentally conscious operating strategy. They are at the forefront of transformational change that will impact the way we integrate the industrial and energy sectors.”

Representatives from the three groups, including consultant to LanzaTech and former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, met in Shanghai March 27. LanzaTech’s technology now includes producing chemicals for the production of plastics, polymers and drop-in fuels from CO2 or carbon monoxide.

The other project is a 33.5 MMgy ethanol plant in Harbin, China. American Jianye Greentech Holdings Ltd., a developer, manufacturer and distributor of alcohol-based fuel in China, and partner GeneSyst International announced completion of the design of the Suihua Waste-to-fuel Plant. The facility, which is expected to be completed in 18 months, will process more than 500,000 tons of garbage and 1 million tons of sewage a year into ethanol and power. The company expects it to generate annual sales of about $100 million when at full capacity.

The fuel produced by this process, is cleaner and costs less than conventional fuels, said Haipeng Wang, chairman and president of Jianye Greentech said. "By producing our own ethanol from municipal solid waste and sludge, we can lower the input costs for our blended fuels in excess of 15 percent,” he added. “Our blended fuel combines ethanol and petroleum fuel, along with our proprietary fuel catalyst, which allows us to increase the concentration of ethanol up to 85 percent.”