LanzaTech Inc. | October 07, 2022
The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced $178 million for bioenergy research to advance sustainable technology breakthroughs that can improve public health, address climate change, improve food and agricultural production, and create more resilient supply chains.
A team from Northwestern University, LanzaTech NZ, Inc. Yale University, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory received $18.5 Million in funding from this grant for integrating cell‐free systems and genome engineering to accelerate biosystems design for carbon‐negative biomanufacturing. With the DOE grant by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Genomic Sciences Program (GSP), the research team will work to,
Interweave in vivo and in vitro approaches, developing new Synthetic Biology tools and Artificial Intelligence (AI) models,
Establish a predictive, system-level understanding of CO2-utilizing biosystems to accelerate sustainable biomanufacturing, and
Engineer industrially relevant CO2-utilizing biosystems that produce advanced and performance-advantaged fuels and chemical precursors.
The work will look to understand the fundamental rules that drive microbial systems and how they can make new products through biological design. This is expected to help support new approaches to biomanufacturing by developing performance-advantaged alternatives to materials, fuels, and solvents today exclusively made from virgin fossil inputs.
LanzaTech has already demonstrated more than 100 products through its Synthetic Biology platform. CEO Dr. Jennifer Holmgren recently spoke at the White House Summit on Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing, where she shared her vision for a post-pollution future. "By 2040," Dr. Holmgren said, "we hope that every U.S. consumer, regardless of where they are from or how much they earn, will have direct access to a sustainable version of every product they purchase."
"Innovation alone will not be enough to accelerate the work we are doing in creating a circular economy. However, through collaboration and the support of the Department of Energy, we will be able to scale our work and have several platforms to support the growing carbon-negative biomanufacturing industry."
Northwestern University and LanzaTech have a long history of collaboration. This work builds upon a Biosystems Design award Northwestern University and LanzaTech received that demonstrated ground-breaking work on how in vitro prototyping of biochemical pathways can accelerate design of biological cell-factories and carbon-negative biomanufacturing of essential platform chemicals acetone and isopropanol. Professor Michael Jewett, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern University and Director for Northwestern University's Center of Synthetic Biology, will lead the project.
"We need to advance and apply our capacity to partner with biology to make what is needed, where and when it is needed, on a sustainable and renewable basis," Jewett said. "This project will allow us to grow US-based manufacturing through fundamental research insights."
The DOE funding supports cutting-edge biotechnology R&D, like that with LanzaTech and the interdisciplinary team assembled. According to the DOE, "Alternative clean energy sources like bioenergy are playing a key role in reaching President Biden's goal of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050." U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a recent news release announcing the funding, "These projects will continue to advance the boundaries of biotechnology and support the emergence of a thriving U.S. bioeconomy that creates good-paying jobs and helps us meet our climate goals."
“We are reimagining a world that frees ourselves from relying on fossil resources," Holmgren said. "The work we are doing with Northwestern University, Yale, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is preparing ourselves for a post-pollution future and a more circular economy."
LanzaTech harnesses the power of biology and big data to create climate-safe materials and fuels. With expertise in Synthetic Biology, bioinformatics, Artificial Intelligence, and machine learning coupled with engineering, LanzaTech has created a platform that converts waste carbon into new everyday products that would otherwise come from virgin fossil resources. LanzaTech’s first two commercial scale gas fermentation plants have produced over 50 million gallons of ethanol, which is the equivalent of offsetting the release of 190,000 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Additional plants are under construction globally. LanzaTech is based in Illinois, USA.
Piedmont Lithium | September 05, 2022
Piedmont Lithium a leading global developer of lithium resources critical to the U.S. electric vehicle supply chain, today announced the selection of Etowah, Tennessee in McMinn County as the location of the Company’s planned 30,000 metric ton per year LHP2 lithium hydroxide operation. With a planned completion and start of production in 2025, the Company believes Tennessee Lithium will be the largest lithium hydroxide processing facility constructed in the United States. The Project is expected to convert spodumene concentrate sourced principally from Piedmont’s international project investments to significantly expand the U.S. supply of lithium hydroxide, a key component in the manufacturing of EV batteries.
“Companies like Piedmont Lithium choose to call Tennessee home because of our unmatched workforce and strong business climate,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “I thank this company for its investment in McMinn County and commitment to create nearly 120 manufacturing jobs for Tennesseans.”
“We are excited to announce the site of our newest project and partnership with the City of Etowah in McMinn County, and the State of Tennessee, as we advance our strategic goal of becoming a leading lithium supplier in the United States. We are humbled by the warm welcome we have received from our new partners, and we look forward to making Piedmont an integral part of the Etowah and McMinn County communities as we develop Tennessee Lithium together for our mutual success.”
Keith Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer of Piedmont Lithium
Piedmont’s Tennessee Lithium facility should be among the first lithium hydroxide plants built with the innovative Metso:Outotec process. This process eliminates the acid-leaching of spodumene and the production sodium sulfate waste, which will make Tennessee Lithium one of the world’s most sustainable lithium hydroxide operations.
Tennessee Lithium’s production target of 30,000 tpy of lithium hydroxide will complement the Company’s planned Carolina Lithium operation to bring our estimated total U.S.-based production capacity of 60,000 tpy by 2026. Current total U.S. production of lithium hydroxide is just 15,000 tpy.
“The rapid electrification of the automotive market has led to massive investments in electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery production in the United States, creating a critical need for lithium hydroxide produced in the U.S.,” said Phillips. “Our Tennessee Lithium operation should play an important role in helping to mitigate supply shortages in the American EV industry and battery supply chain, particularly in the wake of recent legislation incentivizing the use of domestically sourced critical materials and providing tax credits for U.S. producers.”
The Project’s location in Tennessee was selected for its cooperative government relations, access to excellent infrastructure including rail, road and river transportation, a talented workforce, a constructive business climate, as well as its proximity to the battery and automotive plants being constructed by prospective customers, and the Company’s headquarters and Carolina Lithium project, both in Gaston County, North Carolina.
Front-End Engineering Design (“FEED”) for Tennessee Lithium will be performed by Kiewit and Primero. Kiewit Corporation, ranked 3rd in Engineering News Record’s 2022 Top 400 Contractors, is a U.S. based construction company and a leading Engineer, Procure, and Construct (“EPC”) firm. Primero Group is a specialized design-build firm with strong lithium industry know-how that has supported Piedmont’s development since early 2018. FEED will conclude in H1 2023 and position Piedmont to sign an EPC contract for the construction of Tennessee Lithium upon completion of permitting and project financing activities. As part of FEED, Kiewit and Primero are expected to complete a DFS for Tennessee Lithium by the end of 2022.
“Site selection and FEED award are important 2022 milestones toward potential first production from Tennessee Lithium in 2025,” said Piedmont Lithium EVP and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Brindle. “We’re pleased to align ourselves with top-tier contractors Kiewit and Primero and, having announced our site selection, we will proceed to develop the relevant permit applications for the Project. Tennessee Lithium is expected to share many attributes with our planned Carolina Lithium operations, including the use of the core Metso:Outotec technology package. In conjunction with FEED, the Kiewit and Primero teams should leverage the work we’ve accomplished over the past several years to deliver a definitive feasibility study of Tennessee Lithium by the end of this year. We hope to break ground here in Etowah on the earliest practically achievable timeline.”
Based on prior studies, Piedmont plans to invest approximately $600 million in the development of the operation. The Tennessee Lithium Project is expected to drive significant economic activity and create approximately 120 new, direct jobs.
About Piedmont Lithium
Piedmont Lithium is developing a world-class, multi-asset, integrated lithium business focused on enabling the transition to a net zero world and the creation of a clean energy economy in North America. Our goal is to become one of the largest lithium hydroxide producers in North America by processing spodumene concentrate produced from assets where we hold an economic interest. Our projects include our wholly-owned Carolina Lithium and LHP-2 Projects in the United States and partnerships in Quebec with Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) and in Ghana with Atlantic Lithium (AIM:ALL). These geographically diversified operations will enable us to play a pivotal role in supporting America’s move toward decarbonization and the electrification of transportation and energy storage.
Eastman | September 26, 2022
Interzero and Eastman announced a long-term supply agreement for Eastman's previously announced molecular recycling facility in Normandy, France. Interzero will provide up to 20,000 metric tonnes per year of hard-to-recycle PET household packaging waste that would otherwise be incinerated.
Interzero Plastics Recycling, as part of Interzero, is an innovation leader in plastics recycling with the largest sorting capacity in Europe and many years of experience. Headquartered in Germany, Interzero is a leading service provider of circular solutions in Europe and is strongly connected to its sister company ALBA Group ASIA both led by Chairman and Shareholder, Dr. Axel Schweitzer.
Eastman's planned molecular recycling facility in France will become the world's largest material-to-material molecular recycling plant. Once complete, the facility will recycle approximately 160,000 tonnes of hard-to-recycle polyester waste annually. The project is expected to be operational in 2025.
"Eastman is a leader in molecular recycling with decades of innovation expertise. Joining forces by combining the leading know how of Eastman and Interzero is the next step in closing the loop with our partners and a step closer towards a world without waste. The world is facing a plastic waste crisis with far too little plastic waste being recycled, either from lack of collection or because it simply cannot be recycled by traditional methods. Eastman's innovative process and this agreement bring a solution to this."
Jacco de Haas, chief commercial officer at Interzero Plastics Recycling
Chemical recycling is a necessary complement to mechanical recycling to keep more raw materials in the loop. Both companies are committed to creating material circularity. Eastman's facility in France will process colored and opaque PET waste that cannot be recycled mechanically to create clear and transparent rPET upon completion.
"Interzero and Eastman are committed to reducing plastic waste and creating circularity through collaboration and innovation," said Brad Lich, Eastman executive vice president and chief commercial officer. "This agreement marks an important milestone towards Eastman's investment in France. We are happy to build a strong collaboration in Europe with Interzero to provide a portion of the feedstock needed to successfully operate our facility. The collaboration reinforces the complementary nature of mechanical and molecular recycling, and the importance of working together to create true circularity."
Eastman's proven polyester renewal technology provides true circularity for hard-to-recycle plastic waste that remains in a linear economy today. This material is typically incinerated because it either cannot be mechanically recycled or must be downcycled using existing technology. Eastman's chemical recycling technology allows this hard-to-recycle waste to be broken down into its molecular building blocks and then reassembled to become first-quality material without any compromise in performance. Eastman's polyester renewal technology enables the potentially infinite value of materials by keeping them in production, lifecycle after lifecycle. With the technology's inherent efficiencies and the renewable energy sources available in France, materials can be produced with significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional methods.
Interzero is an innovation leader in plastics recycling with the largest sorting capacity in Europe and one of the leading environmental service providers in the field of closing product, material, and logistics cycles. Under the guiding principle of "zero waste solutions", the company advises over 20,000 customers throughout Europe on the responsible handling of recyclable materials, thus helping them to improve their own sustainability performance and conserve primary resources. With about 2,000 employees, the company achieves a turnover of over one billion euros (2021). In 2020 alone Interzero saved 1.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gases compared to primary production and at the same time 12.3 million tonnes of primary raw materials through its recycling activities.
Founded in 1920, Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company's innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development to grow its leading positions in attractive end markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse company, Eastman employs approximately 14,000 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries. The company had 2021 revenues of approximately $10.5 billion and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA. In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Eastman employs approximately 2100 and is present in 10 countries. EMEA accounted for 26 percent of Eastman's total sales revenue in 2021.