Investments

LanzaTech bags $60m funding

My apologies for the sparse blog posts as it is difficult nowadays to blog when you’re attending conferences and having meetings after meetings. I just got back from the AFPM’s (American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers) International Petrochemicals Conference in San Antonio, and I have been learning more about the current market status of several petrochemical products.

As I’ve tweeted yesterday, I have also heard rumors about a new bio-PET and bio-MEG project at the AFPM meeting, and I am currently investigating this news. I can’t blog about it yet (where is this project and who is involved) as I am going to report this on the incoming Bio-Materials newsletter this month. Sorry!

Now back to blogging for other recent green chemicals news. I know this news from LanzaTech is pretty late but a $60 million funding is pretty impressive in the small world of renewable/clean technology chemicals.

Led by Mitsui & Co. with a $20M investment, LanzaTech’s recent $60M Series D funding round also includes new investors Siemens via its Venture Capital unit (SFS VC), CICC Growth Capital Fund I, L.P. and existing investors: Khosla Ventures, Qiming Venture Partners, K1W1 and the Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund.

The investment will be used to extend LanzaTech’s core gas fermentation platform and further develop LanzaTech’s product portfolio. To date, products include fuels such as ethanol or jet fuel and commodity chemicals such as butadiene used in nylon production or propylene used in plastics manufacture.

LanzaTech’s gas fermentation platform enable the regional production of low-cost energy from local wastes and residues, including gases as varied as industrial flue gas, gasified biomass wastes and residues, biogas, and high-CO2 stranded natural gas.

I am actually eager to hear about LanzaTech’s advancement in its bio-butadiene project, which the company will talk about on May 13 at the BIO World Congress in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing conference in Philadelphia. Other speakers in the bio-butadiene session will include INVISTA, Global Bioenergies and Arzeda.

In other financing news, PHA-based plastics technology developer and producer, Newlight Technologies, has successfully completed its Series C financing round, raising $9.2 million from both new and existing investors and bringing the company’s total capital raise to $18.8 million.

The company produces thermoplastic materials called AirCarbon using greenhouse gases such as methane as feedstock.  The company said it can convert methane from biogas (such as from farms, water treatment plants, municipal landfills) into PHA-based thermoplastics at commercial scale.  Newlight’s microorganism-based 9X biocatalyst reportedly generates a polymer conversion yield that is over 9x higher than previous methane-to-PHA conversion technologies.

The company claims its PHA thermoplastics can out-compete petro-based materials such as polypropylene and polyethylene on price.  Newlight has a multi-million pound per year production facility in California converting captured methane from anaerobic digester into its AirCarbon thermoplastic.  The company is preparing to expand capacity with the commissioning of a 50 million pound per year production facility over the coming quarters.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.

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