Issue Date: October 22, 2012
CO2 Pursued As Feedstock
Researchers at renewable chemical companies and universities are working to advance CO2 as a feedstock that could take the place of petroleum or food inputs such as corn. LanzaTech has signed an agreement with Petronas, Malaysia’s national oil company, to develop technologies for making chemicals from CO2 and natural gas. The inputs would come from refinery off-gases and natural gas wells. As their first product, the firms will target acetic acid. LanzaTech is currently commercializing fermentation technology that converts carbon monoxide from steel plant emissions into ethanol. Meanwhile, start-up Newlight Technologies is using greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane as the input for its polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) resins. Newlight says it has more than 100,000 lb of annual capacity at a fermentation-based demonstration facility in Irvine, Calif. And chemistry and engineering researchers at Brown University have received a $1.75 million grant from NSF’s Centers for Chemical Innovation Program to explore the potential of CO2 as a feedstock for commodity chemicals. If the three-year project nets a promising research direction, the team will compete for a second-phase grant of $20 million.
- Chemical & Engineering News
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