Renewable Energy: Jet Fuel from Recycled Waste Gases

LanzaTech and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have agreed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA), which has been given final approval by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), to develop jet fuel from waste gases created in the steel industry.

The first phase of the CRDA work will be done over  one year. The DOE will provide funding whilst PNNL and LanzaTech make an “in-kind” contribution.  Lanzatech’s clean energy technology can produce 2,3-Butanediol (2,3-BD), an oxygenate which can be used to make hydrocarbon fuels.

Existing LanzaTech and PNNL collaborations with teams at Tsinghua University and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), which are performing techno-economic and life cycle evaluations, will also contribute to the work.

Replacement biofuels which are capable of being used with existing equipment are more easily leveraged than fuels which require new technologies and engine systems.

LanzaTech’s chief executive, Dr Jennifer Holmgren, explains:

“The US has spent billions on its existing petroleum infrastructure and to redesign airline jet engines costs in the realm of hundreds of millions of dollars. The biofuels that will succeed must be compatible with existing engines, pipelines and refineries. LanzaTech’s integration of the fuels and chemicals value chain enables economic viability, as well as being environmentally sound.”

LanzaTech was founded in early 2005 to develop and commercialize proprietary technologies for the production of lowest cost fuel ethanol from gases produced by the steel industry. LanzaTech has expanded the focus of its process development program to include other industrial off gases and synthesis gas from gasification. LanzaTech is moving to commercialize its technology in China, taking its process from pilot to commercial scale.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a national laboratory of the US Department of Energy Office of Science, where interdisciplinary teams advance science and technology and deliver solutions for energy, the environment and national security.  PNNL employs 4, 900 staff, has an annual budget of nearly US$1 billion, and has been managed by Ohio-based Battelle since 1965.

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