Lanzatech New Zealand Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) are in talks to collaborate in accelerating the deployment of the foreign firm's proprietary gas fermentation technology to produce fuel grade ethanol from industrial off-gases.
The announcement was made today during New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Trade Minister Tim Groser's visit here with a 25-member delegation of businessmen, which is aimed at boosting two-way trade and furthering the New Zealand -India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.
The discussions would aim at building a commercial-scale ethanol plant with technology from Lanzatech, which uses microbes to convert industrial pollutants such as carbon monoxide into biofuels. Waste gases from a Jindal Steel plant could be used to produce green fuel for blending with IOC made petrol, said a Lanzatech release here.
"Lanzatech goal in India is to help industry in mitigating green house gas emissions and meeting the Indian Government's criterion that new sources of renewable energy production do not compromise food or water resources," Lanzatech Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Holmgren said.
"This collaboration between IOC and JSPL is aimed at delivering a new, indigenous resource to India's liquid transportation fuel pool and demonstrates that the creation of a new energy future requires the creation of novel partnerships," he said.
Lanzatech has also expanded its portfolio from the production of lowest cost fuel grade ethanol from non-food renewable resources to include the production of butanediol, a key building block used to make polymers, plastics and hydrocarbon fuels, such as jet fuel, the CEO said.
"We are also working on an alcohol-to-jet fuel project under a recent US Department of Defence's Defence Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) contract," Lanzatech Vice-President, Business Development, Asia Pacific, Prabhakar Nair said.
"We expect to complete its technical development and make commercial quantities for certification in 2012, when the European Union's (EU) emissions trading scheme (ETS) regulations will come into effect. Hopefully, we will test the fuel in an aircraft," he said.
Incidentally, the EU will begin allocating carbon emission quotas to airline companies operating flights departing from or arriving in the EU, from January 1, 2012.
Typically, an airline company would have to buy extra carbon 'emission credits' if it surpasses its emission quota. The company is also in talks with steel plants, including South Korean major POSCO, as well as the petroleum sector in India to produce fuel ethanol which the petroleum industry could add to petrol, Nair said.
"Most refineries and steel plants have waste gases. We have realised that there is three times more money in converting waste gases from Indian refineries into ethanol, rather than using these gases to generate power," he said.