New Zealand based LanzaTech has signed a memorandum of understanding with Posco for the implementation of its gas fermentation technology to convert the steel maker’s CO from its BOS converters to ethanol and other value added products.

LanzaTech uses non food renewable resources to produce ethanol and also 2,3-Butanediol (2,3-BD), a key building block used to make polymers, plastics and hydrocarbon fuels. It has investment from K1W1 (New Zealand), Khosla Ventures (US) and Qiming Ventures (China) as well as funding from the New Zealand and US governments.

LanzaTech chief executive Dr Jennifer Holmgren comments: “Posco’s environmentally conscious policies are consistent with LanzaTech’s technology vision of reducing the carbon footprint while increasing energy efficiencies at industrial facilities. The proposed licensing by Posco of our patented microbe and fermentation process fits with our growth strategy in Asia.”

Noi-Ha Cho, chief technology officer of Posco, says gas fermentation technology creates more value from by-products of the steel process. “It provides a new way to produce green energy and it will also contribute to reducing CO2 in steel plants,” he says.

This is the second signing with a major steel company. In June 2010, China’s Baosteel signed an agreement to build a demonstration plant due to be completed later this year.

LanzaTech has run a pilot plant using its technology at NZ Steel at Glenbrook, Auckland since 2008. A demonstration plant is the last stage before commercial operation.

For further information on the technology follow the link below.