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The Brew Barons: Masters of Advanced Fermentation, Driving the Redefinition of Biofuels: Pt 2


  • 03 2011 16
    Miami, FL, USA --They are the new Brew Barons. In an earlier age, they might have been content to make White Lightning, or craft brews. Today their targets are jet fuel, renewable gasoline, renewable diesel, ethanol, a boatload of renewable chemicals, plus feed grains, food oils, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and more.One thing is for sure. Based on the advances they are making, anyone who begins a sentence with “biofuels are…” isn’t up on the science. They are too turbulent to be characterized – too fast-moving to be catalogued or pigeon-holed. The nature, potential, and value of biofuels are changing nearly as rapidly as feedstocks in a fermenter.

    Who are they? Let’s look at some of the best and the brightest.

    (See part 1 of this story, here.)


    The LanzaTech process increases industrial energy efficiency by capturing waste gases (CO, CO2) and converting them to valuable fuels and chemicals. LanzaTech provides an opportunity to produce large volumes of low carbon fuel and chemicals at low costs using a countries own resources, reducing dependence on foreign imports and GHG footprint.  Simply utilizing the available steel mill waste gases, LanzaTech could produce more than 30 billion gallons of ethanol per year.  This would have a significant impact on the global energy landscape.

    Two weeks ago, LanzaTech signed a memorandum of understanding with Posco, a Korean conglomerate with interests in steel, power, energy, engineering and construction, to convert the steel maker’s flue gases to ethanol and other value added products. LanzaTech uses its gas fermentation technology to produce ethanol and also 2,3-Butanediol (2,3-BD), a key building block used to make polymers, plastics and hydrocarbon fuels. It has investment from K1W1 (New Zealand), Khosla Ventures (US) and Qiming Venures (China) as well as funding from the New Zealand and US governments. Sursa: renewableenergyworld.com