The largest chemical manufacturer in the world, Germany’s BASF, has invested in Chicago, Illinois headquartered LanzaTech, a biotech company using special microbes to recycle waste gas streams.
Originally founded in New Zealand, LanzaTech has developed a gas fermentation technology said to be the first to recycle residual gases containing carbon monoxide and hydrogen into ethanol. By re-using waste streams instead of incinerating them, industrial companies are said to be able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The company explained that ethanol can be used as the raw material for the production of diesel, gasoline or jet fuel and as a precursor to plastics and polymers.
LanzaTech’s product portfolio includes additional biochemicals besides ethanol, such as chemical specialties and intermediates, that can be used as raw materials in other chemical production processes. The technology is also said to be potentially suitable for treating and recycling waste streams in the chemical industry and for municipal waste disposal.
“LanzaTech offers a promising technology that allows currently unused industrial residue and waste streams to be recycled,” commented Markus Solibieda, Managing Director of BASF Venture Capital. “We are working to integrate sustainability increasingly in all our business processes. One part of this is investment in technologies that help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”
Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech added: “BASF’s expertise in creating sustainable chemistry that benefits society aligns with our carbon recycling vision, where we capture and reuse waste carbon to make useful everyday items, displacing fossil feedstocks and keeping the sky blue for all.”
The undisclosed sum was invested through BASF Venture Capital GmbH which was founded in 2001 with the aim of generating new growth potential for BASF by investing in new companies and funds.
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