12/12/2013

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Evonik and LanzaTech working on bio-processed precursors for specialty plastics

Evonik Industries and LanzaTech have signed a three year research cooperation agreement which will see Evonik combining its existing biotechnology platforms with LanzaTech's synthetic biology and gas fermentation expertise for the development of a route to bio-processed precursors for specialty 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 specialty chemicals and processes", explains Prof. Stefan Buchholz, the head of Creavis. Creavis, Evonik's strategic innovation arm, is committed to developing alternative bio-based pathways for the production of such specialty chemicals, to not only reduce dependence on fossil fuels, but also reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their manufacture. "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.

About LanzaTech
LanzaTech is a leader in gas fermentation technology that provides novel and economic routes to fuels and high value chemicals from waste gas streams. By leveraging waste resources, LanzaTech's solutions mitigate carbon emissions from industry without adversely impacting food or land security. LanzaTech's process, certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, creates sustainable fuels and platform chemicals that serve as building blocks for everyday products such as rubber and plastics. LanzaTech, a company founded in New Zealand and headquartered in the U.S., is now a global organization with partnerships and investors in India, Malaysia, Japan, the UK and two commercial facilities slotted for construction in 2014 in China.

About Evonik
Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2012 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €13.4 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €2.4 billion (excluding Real Estate in both cases).

More Information: www.evonik.com, www.lanzatech.com

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