LanzaTech selects TechnipFMC’s ethanol-to-ethylene technology

LanzaTech has chosen TechnipFMC’s Hummingbird ethanol-to-ethylene technology to combine with its own Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) technology for the manufacturing of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with ethanol serving as raw material.

LanzaJet, which is a spin-off sustainable aviation fuel company of LanzaTech, is the sole licensor of the ATJ technology.

LanzaJet’s first commercial demonstration-scale integrated biorefinery at LanzaTech’s Freedom Pines location in Soperton, Georgia, the US, will deploy the technologies to produce ten million gallons of SAF annually and renewable diesel from sustainable ethanol sources.

Partially funded by the US Department of Energy and leveraging technology developed by Pacific Norwest National Lab (PNNL), this facility will commence production in early 2022.

According to TechnipFMC, these technologies will together offer ‘strong validation of the bio and circular economies in action’.

This is the first application of the Hummingbird sustainable ethanol-to-ethylene technology on a commercial scale for TechnipFMC.

Based on a low-cost process for dehydrating ethanol to ethylene, Hummingbird technology’s key aspect is its catalyst, which leads to a reduced temperature, higher pressure, and a more selective process as against conventional ethanol dehydration processes that make use of alumina-based catalysts.

Technip Energies senior vice-president for process technology Stan Knez said: “We are pleased that LanzaTech has selected our Hummingbird technology, which is a part of our sustainable chemistry portfolio, aimed at supporting our clients to achieve their energy transition targets in the biochemicals market. The Hummingbird bioethylene provides companies with an alternative chemical pathway as a building block for a biorefinery.”

LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren said: “Ethanol, which can be produced from a variety of locally available waste resources, is an ideal substrate for the production of sustainable fuels and chemical building blocks. With the Hummingbird technology, we have a carbon-efficient pathway to SAF via ATJ for a sector in need of reducing their emissions, building resilience and energy security.”

In July, TechnipFMC signed a major engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build a new hydrocracking complex for the Assiut refinery in Egypt.

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