|A||NZ||Early Stage||Low and Zero Carbon Energy – Transportation||www.lanzatech.co.nz|
LanzaTech’s core technology – proprietary carboxydotrophic bacteria from Clostridium, Moorella and Carboxydothermus, particularly Clostridium ethanogenum – allows carbon monoxide and optionally hydrogen to be used for fuel production by anaerobic fermentation. CO is a high-energy gas which provides the only source of carbon and energy for growth and product synthesis. In a second proprietary process, bacteria convert the acetate by-product into alcohols such as ethanol and CO2.
1. Excellent breakthrough for the conversion of waste carbon sources to alcohol fuels.
2. Good understanding of the importance of internal reactor geometry in maximising production efficiencies and rates.
3. Use of fine bubble diffusers for introducing the input gas to maximise mass transfer of gas into the broth and therefore also the rate of conversion.
4. Can also use CO2, CH4 and H2S as gas inputs.
5. Other products can include butyrate, propionate, caproate, propanol and butanol.
6. Both bacterial strains developed to date have a WHO Category 1 safety rating (the same as Baker’s yeast).
7. Other strains which could be used include Ruminococcus, Acetobacterium, Eubacterium, Butyribacterium, Oxobacter, Methanosarcina and Desulfotomaculum.
1. The problem with microbial technologies is that they need vitamin and mineral inputs, as well as the carbon source, that all inputs require an energy input, that the bacteria have a limited conversion capacity. LanzaTech have not disclosed costs, energy inputs or production rates and efficiencies for their process. It is not therefore possible to determine whether the full scale demo system to become operative in 2011 is the most attractive way to convert carbon sources into fuels.
2. Unclear whether any heat input is required.
Pumping could be achieved using heat from the process providing the carbon-containing gases through the Thermofluidics oscillator – see that entry.
Lanzatech patent applications WO2011/028137 and WO2007117157.