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LanzaTech commission world’s first commercial waste gas to ethanol plant

Waste-gas-to-fuel and chemicals technology developer LanzaTech Inc., and its joint venture partner, Shougang Group, a leading Chinese iron and steel producer, have announced the successful start-up of the world’s first commercial facility converting industrial emissions to ethanol.

LanzaTech together with its partner Shougang Group has begun commercial-scale ethanol production from steel mill waste gas at the Jingtang Steel Mill in Caofeidan, Hebei Province, China (photo courtesy LanzaTech).

The facility, located at the Jingtang Steel Mill in Caofeidian in Hebei Province, China began operations on May 3. LanzaTech uses anaerobic bacteria, originally found in rabbit droppings, to ferment waste emissions from industry to make fuel ethanol.

According to LanzaTech, this ethanol’s performance in fuel blending applications is indistinguishable from sugar-derived ethanol as it meets all specifications of ASTM International D4806, the active standard for qualifying ethanol used in blending with gasoline for automotive engines. In addition, the ethanol meets the National Standard of the People’s Republic of China GB 18350 for Denatured fuel ethanol.

With a capacity of 46 000 tons (16 million gallons) of ethanol per year, this facility will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2), particulate matter (PM) and other pollutants at the steel mill in line with China’s climate and energy goals. The ethanol can be used as a low carbon fuel and can be converted downstream to jet fuel, diesel and household products.

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