LanzaTech Inc. | May 27, 2022
A consortium, including LanzaTech and Danone, led to the discovery of a new route to monoethylene glycol, which is a key building block for polyethylene terephthalate, resin, fibers and bottles. The technology converts carbon emissions from steel mills or gasified waste biomass directly into MEG. The carbon capture technology uses a proprietary engineered bacterium to convert carbon emissions directly into MEG through fermentation, bypassing the need for an ethanol intermediate, and simplifying the MEG supply chain. The direct production of MEG was proven at laboratory scale and the presence of MEG was confirmed by two external laboratories.
“We have made a breakthrough in the production of sustainable PET that has vast potential to reduce the overall environmental impact of the process. This is a technological breakthrough which could have significant impact, with applications in multiple sectors, including packaging and textiles!”
Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech
While there is no organism in nature known to produce MEG, through this proof-of-concept stage, LanzaTech has used Synthetic Biology and AI tools to discover multiple novel pathways to make MEG directly from carbon emissions. By combining and prototyping various sets of enzymes identified from different sources in novel ways, LanzaTech has successfully reprogrammed its ethanol producing bacteria to fix and channel carbon into MEG.
This early-stage proof of concept work shows for the first time that it is possible for a bacterium to directly produce MEG from gas. By producing MEG directly, the new technology avoids the multiple processing steps required to convert ethanol into ethylene, then ethylene oxide and then to MEG. LanzaTech anticipates that when scaled successfully after a multiyear development phase, the direct production process will lead to PET bottles and PET fibers with a reduced environmental impact.
LanzaTech is partnering with leading companies to improve the environmental impact of packaging. Given the success of this proof-of-concept phase, LanzaTech, with the support of Danone, plans to continue the scale-up phase of its direct-to-MEG technology.
“We have been working with LanzaTech for years and strongly believe in the long-term capacity of this technology to become a game changer in the way to manage sustainable packaging materials production. This technological collaboration is a key enabler to accelerate the development of this promising technology,” said Pascal Chapon, Danone R&I Advanced Techno Materials Director.
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 30 million gallons of ethanol, which is the equivalent of offsetting the release of 150,000 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Additional plants are under construction globally.
LanzaTech and partners, InEnTec, Waste Management and lululemon, are now progressing the technology to apply and scale up the technology for upcycling of non-recyclable plastic waste and apparel to MEG, with support from the US Department of Energy. LanzaTech is based in Illinois, USA.
As announced on March 8th, 2022, LanzaTech has entered into a merger agreement with AMCI Acquisition Corp. II (Nasdaq: AMCI). Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will be renamed LanzaTech Global, Inc. and its common stock is expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “LNZA”.
Danone is a leading multi-local food & beverages company building on health-focused and fast-growing categories in 3 businesses: Essential Dairy & Plant-Based products, Waters and Specialized Nutrition. As a company committed to protecting and nourishing the health of the planet and people, Danone works to offer nutritious, high-quality food and drinks in packaging that is 100% circular. This means eliminating the packaging it does not need, innovating so all the packaging it needs is designed to be safely reused, recycled or composted and ensuring the material it produces stays in the economy and never becomes waste or pollution.
Johnson Matthey | July 18, 2022
Johnson Matthey a global leader in sustainable technologies, announces that it is building a £80 million gigafactory at its existing site in Royston, UK, to scale up the manufacture of hydrogen fuel cell components. Earlier this year, JM announced a refreshed strategy, with an ambition to be the "market leader in performance components for fuel cells and electrolysers," targeting more than £200 million sales in Hydrogen Technologies by end of 2024/25.
The gigafactory will initially be capable of manufacturing 3GW of proton exchange membrane fuel cell components annually for hydrogen vehicles and is supported by the UK Government through the Automotive Transformation Fund. The APC forecasts that the UK will need 14GW of fuel cell stack production and 400,000 high pressure carbon fibre3 tanks annually to meet local vehicle production demands by 2035 whilst the market expects that there could be as many as three million fuel cell electric vehicles on the road globally by 2030.
The investment will safeguard highly skilled manufacturing jobs in the UK. The site is expected to be in operation by H1, 2024.
The new facility at Royston will deploy state-of-the-art manufacturing processes to scale up production of fuel cell components and to meet customer demand. The site could be expanded in the future, almost tripling potential capacity by using the decommissioned Clean Air production facility, to produce both fuel cell and green hydrogen components.
"Decarbonising freight transportation is critical to help societies and industries meet their ambitious net zero emission targets – fuel cells will be a crucial part of the energy transition. For more than two decades, JM has been at the forefront of fuel cell innovation. The fuel cell market has now reached a pivotal moment with the increasing urgency to decarbonise transportation and today marks the next step of the journey to a low-carbon future in the UK. We're delighted to be playing a key role in driving it forward."
Liam Condon, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: "This investment, backed by Government, is a major vote of confidence from Johnson Matthey in the UK. Their new facility will not only add to our growing electric vehicle supply chain, but it will also help secure hundreds of highly skilled jobs.
"We are working hard to ensure the UK reaps the benefits of the green industrial revolution, and today's announcement reaffirms UK's reputation as one of the best locations in the world for high quality auto manufacturing."
Ian Constance, Chief Executive of the APC, the organisation tasked by the automotive industry and government to accelerate development of green vehicle technology and responsible for managing ATF, said: "This is incredibly significant and puts the UK in an enviable position in the global fuel cell supply chain. Our insight forecasts that the UK could dominate European fuel cell production and be a centre of excellence globally and today's announcement is a huge step towards realising that ambition.
"We already have 15% of the fuel cell value chain radiating from UK businesses but this could be as much as 65% just by expanding on current strengths in electrochemistry and coatings or using our automotive capability to volume manufacture components. Johnson Matthey, a world-leader in hydrogen technology, have seen this opportunity and I'm delighted they have chosen the UK to grow this capability."
Road freight accounts for about 9% of global CO2 emissions, with 62% arising from medium and heavy-duty trucking - the hardest-to-abate transport segments. Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) provide similar benefits to existing technology such as fast refuelling and long range but emit zero kerbside CO2 or other pollutants, so they are a popular option for decarbonising heavy-duty commercial vehicles and are core to a net zero future.
NW Natura | July 28, 2022
NW Natural, a 163-year-old gas utility based in Portland, announced a partnership with Washington-based Modern Electron to create clean hydrogen directly from natural gas and blend it into its existing natural gas distribution network.
The innovative technology process known as concurrent combustion methane pyrolysis is designed to produce clean hydrogen and solid carbon using only natural gas and air as inputs – and does not require any electricity, water, or consumable catalyst. “This technology could provide an incredibly elegant and flexible way of producing clean hydrogen – and potentially at a very low cost whenever and wherever we need it on our system to help decarbonize,” said Kim Heiting, Sr. Vice President of Operations for NW Natural. The technology, which is planned for pilot at NW Natural’s Central Portland facility, is one of many solutions the utility is pursuing in its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality for the energy it delivers to customers, as detailed in its Destination Zero report.
Hydrogen created by this clean pyrolysis process has the potential to be used for heating in industrial, commercial, and residential applications. Solid carbon resulting from the process could be turned into products such as asphalt, construction materials, automobile tires and soil amendments.
This project will be the first in a line of scheduled gas utility installations from Modern Electron, the suburban Seattle-based sustainable heat and power technology company.
“The fastest and most economical way to reduce CO2 emissions at a national scale is to effectively leverage existing infrastructure. By decarbonizing natural gas at the point of use, our Modern Hydrogen products help businesses reduce their carbon footprints without the cost and complexity of changing their processes. We are all about decarbonization. And we are excited about our partnership with NW Natural,”
Mothusi Pahl, Vice President of Business Development and Government Affairs
About Modern Electron
Modern Electron is a sustainable heat & hydrogen company. Modern Electron’s gas decarbonization products are designed to generate cost-effective hydrogen from natural gas at the point of use without CO2 emissions. This “Modern Hydrogen” approach eliminates the logistics, costs, and emissions associated with traditional hydrogen generation, transportation, and storage. Built for continuous hydrogen supply in process heat, power generation, and environmental/space/water heating, Modern Electron's proprietary Concurrent Combustion and Pyrolysis technology has the ability to accelerate decarbonization. North American gas utilities trust Modern Electron for cost-effective clean hydrogen in industrial, commercial, residential, and transit sectors.
About NW Natural
NW Natural is a local distribution company that currently provides natural gas service to approximately 2.5 million people in more than 140 communities through more than 780,000 meters in Oregon and Southwest Washington with one of the most modern pipeline systems in the nation. NW Natural consistently leads the industry with high J.D. Power & Associates customer satisfaction scores. NW Natural, a part of Northwest Natural Holding Company, is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and has been doing business for more than 160 years. NW Holdings owns NW Natural, NW Natural Renewables Holdings. and other business interests. We have a longstanding commitment to safety, environmental stewardship, and taking care of our employees and communities.