Evonik and LanzaTech partner for bio-processed precursors for speciality plastics

German chemicals firm Evonik Industries and US-based gas fermentation technology supplier LanzaTech have signed a three year research cooperation Agreement. It will involve Evonik combining its existing biotechnology platforms with LanzaTech’s synthetic biology and gas fermentation expertise for the development of a route to bioprocessed precursors for speciality plastics from waste-derived synthesis gas.

In this route, microorganisms placed in fermenters are used to turn synthesis gas into chemical products. Synthesis gases comprise mainly of either carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide and hydrogen and can come from a variety of gasified biomass waste streams including forestry and agricultural residues and gasified municipal solid waste.

“Industrial biotechnology is one of the core competences of Evonik. It enables new approaches to speciality chemicals and processes,” explains Prof. Stefan Buchholz, the head of Creavis, Evonik’s strategic innovation arm, that is committed to developing alternative bio-based pathways for the production of such speciality chemicals. “The use of renewables and specific waste streams is one of the main focuses of our research and development work, and LanzaTech offers an additional interesting approach," says Buchholz.

“Synthetic biology is changing the face of the chemicals industry enabling production of ‘green’ chemicals that play a valuable part in our daily lives,” says Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. “We have developed the knowledge and capability to use waste resources to produce these chemicals and our partnership with Evonik plays an important part in bringing these technologies to the world.” LanzaTech, a leader in gas-fermentation technology, uses proprietary microorganisms to capture waste gas streams, including synthesis gas for the production of low carbon fuels and chemical intermediates.


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