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China Steel Corporation, Taiwan’s largest integrated steel maker, based in Kaohsiung, has approved a capital investment of 1400 million TWD (Taiwanese New Dollars) on the development by US-based LanzaTech, of a commercial ethanol facility.
The decision to go ahead with the project was based on a demonstration of the US company’s White Biotech demonstration plant in Kaohsiung, which uses steel mill off gases for ethanol production.
In November 2012, China Steel Corporation (CSC) and LCY Chemical Corporation formed a joint venture, White Biotech (WBT), as part of a Green Energy Alliance with LanzaTech. The resulting demonstration plant met or exceeded all ethanol production milestones and the CSC Board has now formally approved the capital for a commercial scale venture.
LanzaTech’s gas fermentation process uses proprietary microbes to capture and re-use carbon rich waste gases, reducing emissions and pollutants from industrial processes such as steel manufacturing, while making fuels and chemicals that displace those made from fossil resources.
A 50,000 metric tonnes (17 million gallons) per annum facility is planned for construction in Q4 2015, with the intention of scaling up to 100,000 metric tonnes (34 million gallons) per annum commercial unit thereafter. Initial product focus will be industrial ethanol and gasoline additives, with plans for increased product diversity using LanzaTech’s microbial capability.
“LanzaTech will help create a more sustainable future by recycling carbon from the steel mill and enabling green growth through production of useful everyday products. We will have to work even closer to complete this important project,” said Dr. Jo-Chi Tsou, Chairman of CSC.
LanzaTech’s CEO Jennifer Holmgren said that CSC has long been a champion of utilising new technologies. “We need to keep fossil resources in the ground and carbon recycling is one way we can achieve this. If we are to keep within our global carbon budget we need all technologies to contribute and, more importantly, we need forward looking industries and organisations, such as CSC, to bring these technologies to market.”