- Unique biotechnological procedure for using gaseous waste as a source for raw materials
- Technology with potential for applications in the chemical industry
BASF Venture Capital GmbH is to invest in LanzaTech, a biotech company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Using special microbes, LanzaTech has developed a technology for gas fermentation that first enables ethanol to be produced from residual gases containing carbon monoxide and hydrogen. By re-using waste streams instead of incinerating them, industrial companies can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
LanzaTech’s patented technology is now being deployed at commercial scale in the steel industry where carbon monoxide from residual gases (off-gases) can be converted into ethanol. Ethanol can be used as the raw material for the production of diesel, gasoline or jet fuel and as a precursor to plastics and polymers. The company’s product portfolio includes additional biochemicals besides ethanol, such as chemical specialties and intermediates, that can be used as raw materials in other chemical production processes. The technology is also potentially suitable for treating and recycling waste streams in the chemical industry and for municipal waste disposal.
“LanzaTech offers a promising technology that allows currently unused industrial residue and waste streams to be recycled,” says Markus Solibieda, Managing Director of BASF Venture Capital. “We support our customers and society with chemistry that makes optimum use of available resources, and we are working to integrate sustainability increasingly in all our business processes. One part of this is investment in technologies that help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”
“Investment from BASF will help us realize our goal of a Carbon Smart Future,” says Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. “BASF’s expertise in creating sustainable chemistry that benefits society aligns with our carbon recycling vision, where we capture and reuse waste carbon to make useful everyday items, displacing fossil feedstocks and keeping the sky blue for all.”
BASF Venture Capital GmbH (BVC) was founded in 2001 and has offices in Europe, the U.S., China and Israel. The aim of BVC is to generate new growth potential for BASF by investing in new companies and funds. The focus of investment is on chemical products and new materials, software and services as well as innovative and digital business models in the broader field of chemistry.
LanzaTech has developed a unique microbial capability that captures and recycles a broad spectrum of gases for fuel and chemical production with over 50 different molecules demonstrated. Proprietary microbes combined with innovative approaches in bioreactor design and process development have enabled rapid scale up. The first two commercial units converting steel mill waste gases to fuels are being built; in China with Shougang and in Belgium with the world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal. Across the supply chain, LanzaTech promotes a “Carbon Smart™” circular economy, where both gas providers and end users can choose to be resource efficient by recycling or “sequestering” carbon into new products rather than making them from fossil reserves.
Founded in New Zealand, LanzaTech has raised more than USU250 million from investors including Khosla Ventures, K1W1, Qiming Venture Partners, Petronas, Mitsui, Primetals, China International Capital Corp, Suncor, China International Investment Corporation (CITIC) and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.