Lanzatech Secure US Govn Funding for Jet Fuel Bio-Product

02 September 2011 - Which Way to Pay

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Lanzatech Secure US Govn Funding for Jet Fuel Bio-Product

American government funding has been secured by Auckland-based bio-fuels pioneer Lanzatech who can now further their explorations into a “drop-in” fuel replacement for conventional jet fuel.

The US Department of Energy released a statement overnight which stated that Lanzatech will be eligible for "up to USD 4 million to develop a cost-effective technology that converts biomass-derived ethanol into jet fuel using catalysts."

Lanzatech will also manufacture "a valuable bio-product called butadiene that could be used to improve the overall economics of the fuel production process". As such, Lanzatech aim to drive down drop-in jet fuel costs in a wider market.

The "drop-in" bio-fuels are preferential over formulations because they don’t require mixing into normally derived petroleum products; therefore they truly become replacements for conventional fuels.

The Department of Energy are funding another two similar “small-scale” projects making a total investment of USD 12 million in avian fuel replacement projects. This is largely a result of Lanzatech picking up a contract with the US Department of Defence's Advanced Research Agency in June to help develop drop-in bio-fuels for military aircraft.

"The projects, funded through DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, seek to accelerate research and development that will lead the way toward affordable, clean alternatives to fossil fuels and diversify our nation's energy portfolio," said US Energy Secretary Steven Chu, in a statement.

"Producing advanced, drop-in bio-fuels in the US will reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and support development of a new industry that will create jobs in rural communities across the country," said Chu.

Lanzatech's scientific hub is based in Parnell, Auckland and it appears the latest project does not seek to harness the breakthrough proprietary technology developed by Lanzatech to replace bio-mass as a feedstock with industrial waste gases.

Chu said the funding contracts would "further diversify DOE's research and development portfolio in a breadth of fuels and chemicals derived from domestic cellulosic biomass, such as grasses, wood, and agricultural residue."

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