Illinois-based LanzaTech, a producer of low-carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gases through biological fermentation, received a $4 million grant by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) on September 20. LanzaTech and its partners, The City College of New York (CUNY), Louisiana State University (LSU) and Michigan Technological University, will collaborate to extend LanzaTech’s core fermentation technology to unlock the potential of abundant, waste methane gases through innovative and smaller-scale bioreactor design.
The grant is part of ARPA-E’s $34 million REMOTE (Reducing Emissions using Methanotrophic Organisms for Transportation Energy) program, whose focus is on biocatalyst technologies that convert natural gas to transportation fuels.
LanzaTech, which was founded in New Zealand, is currently developing projects with Baosteel Group Corp. and Shougang Group in China to use emissions from their steel mills to make ethanol for vehicles, said CEO Jennifer Holmgren. Both facilities in China operated at annualized production capacity of 100,000 gallons. The company will contemplate an initial public offering in about two years, once it has an operational plant, she said.
LanzaTech received a $56 million series-C venture funding in January 2012 from Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund, PETRONAS Technology Ventures Sdn Bhd, Dialog Group, Khosla Ventures, Qiming Venture Partners and K1W1. (Khosla committed $50 million in May to troubled biofuel maker KiOR Inc., operator of the first U.S. commercial-scale cellulosic biofuel plant.)
And it was reported in May that LanzaTech was raising up to $80 million from venture and strategic investors.
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