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Coal to ethanol project gets green light

The coal to ethanol process has been boosted after New Zealand based LanzaTech reached a memorandum of understanding with one of the largest coal producers in China to build a demonstration plant to produce ethanol and chemicals. LanzaTech is a developer of gas fermentation technology for producing ethanol and high value chemicals from industrial waste gases. It has teamed up with Henan Coal and Chemical Industrial Corporation to use its fermentation process to create ethanol at the plant and has also signed a three-way letter with Henan Coal and the Chinese Academy of Sciences regarding the establishment of a Bio Energy Research Centre. It would focus on the development, production and commercialisation of the technology that changes coal-derived synthesis gas to ethanol fuels and chemicals. The plan is that the demonstration plant will be up and running in the second half of 2011 in Zhengzhou, Henan; while the research centre will focus on developing high value added technology and products and developing complementary process technologies. According to LanzaTech, its microbe can use gas feeds that contain mainly carbon monoxide and little to no hydrogen. This ability enables LanzaTech to use a broad range of feedstocks from steel mill waste flue gas to gasified biomass and municipal solid wastes while reducing overall hydrogen demand.

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Paul Lucas

Filed under: Latest News, Green cars, Green credentials

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