LanzaTech, a producer of low-carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gases, and Baosteel, China’s second largest steelmaker, have announced the success of their 100000 gallon per year (300t) pre-commercial plant located at one of Baosteel’s steel mills outside Shanghai, China

Carbon monoxide from unconditioned steel mill off gases such as a BOS is channelled from the steel mill to a LanzaTech bioreactor, producing ethanol.

The conversion of CO rather than CO2 has the advantage of requiring less energy to convert since it is less stable than the ultimate commercial state CO2.

The Shanghai plant operates at significantly larger scale than LanzaTech’s pilot facility at New Zealand Steel and test results have shown that scaling up of the technology has been successful.

China is committed to developing clean energy technologies that have no impact on food or land resources. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), who regulate technology in China, sent a review panel to the Shanghai facility in early November 2012 to review the site and report on the process in detail. They reported that the waste-gas- to-ethanol project clearly met international standards regarding gas conversion rates and other technical milestones and that the project can now officially enter the commercialisation phase, scaling the process further to make steel mill waste gas-biofuel is a commercial reality in China. A full scale commercial facility with Baosteel is planned for 2013.

The Shanghai Baosteel LanzaTech New Energy Co Ltd, established through a joint venture in March 2011, was created to commercialize LanzaTech’s technology in China.

“The success of this facility will play an important role in the commercialization of clean energy technologies in China,” said Mr Jia Yanlin, Chairman of Baosteel Metal. “This technology has enormous potential in the Chinese market as it will positively impact our manufacturing sustainability as well as China's new energy development,” he continued.

LanzaTech’s technology solutions mitigate carbon emissions from industry without impacting adversely food or land security. The company is presently commissioning a second pre-commercial size facility in China using steel mill off gases for ethanol production.