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Indian Oil’s Landmark Project for Fuels+, from Refinery Waste CO2: The Partner? It’s LanzaTech

Submitted by on July 12, 2017 – 8:46 amNo Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  In Turkey, at the World Petroleum Congress, India’s flagship national oil company Indian Oil Corporation and carbon recycler LanzaTech unveiled a Statement of Intent to construct the world’s first refinery off gas-to-bioethanol production facility in India.

The basic engineering for the 40 million liter per year demonstration plant will begin by Q4 for installation at IndianOil’s Panipat Refinery in Haryana, India. It will be integrated into existing site infrastructure and will be LanzaTech’s first project capturing refinery off-gases.

The potential impact of using off-gases from the refining sector in India is considerable. India would be able to produce 40-50 kilotonnes per year of ethanol, per refinery, while saving about 1 million metric tons of CO2 per annum. This is the equivalent emissions savings, per refinery, to switching 2.5 million vehicles over to all-electric in California using today’s grid.

LanzaTech’s first commercial facility converting waste emissions from steel production to ethanol will come online in China in late 2017. But the gas composition in a refinery is much different as the high levels of CO associated with the chemistry of steel production are not there.

So, what’s changed?

As LanzaTech’s Jennifer Holmgren explained to The Digest, “CO has both carbon and energy but CO2 only has carbon and so a form of energy is required.  Fortunately refineries do have H2 so we are good to go. Our bug eats CO2 and uses H2 to get the energy since CO2 has none. Mix a couple of refinery gas streams and you get CO, CO2, H2 and away you go.  In the gas blend we are using with IOC, more than 50% of the carbon in the ethanol comes from CO2.  So we are fixing CO2 in products. Definitely a paradigm shift and for sure now CO2 can become an opportunity feedstock rather than a liability.  If we can start thinking differently, then we can succeed in our battle with CO2.”

In September 2016, we reported that LanzaTech produced 1,500 US gallons of Lanzanol jet fuel, resulting from the partnership with Virgin Atlantic. The Lanzanol was produced in China at the RSB (Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials) certified Shougang demonstration facility. The innovative alcohol-to-jet (AtJ) process was developed in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) with support from the US Department of Energy (DOE) and with the help of funding from HSBC. More on that here.

The Digest’s 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to LanzaTech’s ATJ jet fuel tech is here.

Becoming a Carbon Superhero: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to LanzaTech is here.

India is adopting a cleaner and greener economic growth pathway today, with the Government running one of the largest renewable capacity expansion programs in the world. The implementation of the National Smart Grid Mission, along with new programs for increasing energy capacities from wind and waste conversion, are key elements of this vision. This vision is inextricably linked to the principle of ‘need-based consumption’ which follows the need to maximize on existing resources and decarbonize everyday activities. For liquid fuels, this is highlighted by targets initiated by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas to increase the supply of ethanol-blended petrol (E10) to all parts of the country.

In May, we reported that the Haryana state government has approved Indian Oil’s investment proposal for a $93.3 million 100,000 liter per day second-generation ethanol plant using crop waste including 50 acres of free or nearly free land in Panipat to site the facility.   READ MORE

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