LanzaTech moves towards commercial production in China

By Erin Voegele | December 03, 2012

New Zealand-based LanzaTech recently announced that its waste gas-to-ethanol technology is ready to enter the commercialization phase in China. The company currently operates a 100,000 gallon per year demonstration facility at a Baosteel steel mill near Shanghai, China.

The demonstration facility is significantly larger than LanzaTech’s pilot-scale facility.  According to the company, test results have shown that the technology has been successfully scaled.

Information released by LanzaTech and Baosteel noted that China’s National Development and Reform Commission, which regulates technology in China, sent a review panel to the facility in early November to review the site and report on the process in detail. According to LanzaTech, the panel reported that the project “clearly met international standards regarding gas conversion rates and other technical milestones and that the project can now officially enter the commercialization phase, scaling the process to further make steel mill waste gas-biofuel a commercial reality in China.”

LanzaTech is planning a commercial-scale facility with Baosteel in 2013.

In 2011, the two companies formed the joint venture Shanghai Baosteel LanzaTech New Energy Co. Ltd. to commercialize LanzaTech’s technology in China. Construction of the demonstration plant began in March 2011. The project became operational in March 2012. A recent Baosteel announcement posted to LanzaTech’s website specifies that “a number of key technical milestones have been met and the plant is operating continuously and smoothly.”

LanzaTech is also active in the U.S. market. In early 2012, the company purchased the former Range Fuels Inc. cellulosic biofuels plant in Soperton, Ga. At that time, Jennifer Holmgren, LanzaTech CEO, said extensive renovations would be made to the site to allow for the operation of LanzaTech’s technology. The company plans to convert the plant to a wood residue-to-fuels and chemicals production facility.