Officials of LanzaTech NZ Ltd., a closely held biofuels company based in Auckland, New Zealand and backed by billionaire Vinod Khosla, say it will convert a U.S. cellulosic ethanol plant it bought from Range Fuels Inc. to produce chemicals from biomass.
LanzaTech is developing a process that uses proprietary microorganisms to convert carbon monoxide-containing gases from steel mills, oil refineries and chemical plants into ethanol and biochemicals. It is also working with the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) on making jet fuel.
Located in Soperton, Ga., the Range plant was sold January 3 for $5.1 million, a fraction of the financial support it received. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture required a foreclosure sale following Range’s default in 2011 on an $80 million loan guarantee the agency offered. The plant was also supported by more than $160 million in venture funding and part of a separate $76 million grant the DOE awarded.Tags: biomass chemicals plant, DOE, LanzaTech, Range Fuels, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy, USDA, Vinod Khosla