Partners Involved: Bacteria, LanzaTech
Type of Partnership: Win-Neutral for Public and Planet
Partnership Models: Isolator, Purifier
This circular economy model of carbon recycling uses bacteria to mitigate climate change and pollution by converting gases from industry, agriculture and society into useful products.
Bacteria has long been used to meet humans needs (fermented foods for example). Therefore, it is no surprise that biotechnologies—the manipulation of living organisms through genetic engineering—is a booming sector in today’s economy.
Companies are using bacteria to address some of the greatest social and environmental issues of our time such as climate change. One of them, LanzaTech, is using microbes to convert industrial waste gases into low carbon fuel and chemicals through a gas fermentation process, thereby contributing to mitigate carbon emissions and pollution.
These bacteria naturally consume CO, CO2, and H2 gases and convert them into products such as fuel ethanol. To identify the right bacteria, LanzaTech pioneered scientific understanding of the ancient biochemical machinery found in certain classes of microbes.
Through the commercialization of this integrated technology, for which LanzaTech was granted over 400 patents—the company is turning the global carbon crisis into a feedstock opportunity. Lanzatech’s technology has the potential to displace 35% of oil-derived transport fuel and reduce global CO2 emissions by 2.6 million tons per year, which is equivalent to taking 705 million cars off the road.
In 2015, after more than a decade of research, the first applications were underway in China in partnership with Shougang Group, a leading Chinese iron and steel producer, and in Belgium in partnership with ArcelorMittal. And in 2018, LanzaTech fuel was used on a Virgin Atlantic flight from Orlando to London—the first commercial flight to do so—proving that the next generation of sustainable fuel is already here and operational.
SDGs Targeted: SDG 7 on Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 13 on Climate Action
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