Evonik and LanzaTech in Bioprocessed Plastics Precursors R&D

09.12.2013 -

Germany's Evonik and U.S.-headquartered LanzaTech have signed a three year research cooperation pact linking the German company's existing biotechnology platforms with the U.S. partner's synthetic biology and gas fermentation expertise to produce bioprocessed precursors for specialty plastics.

At the heart of the agreement is a technology that uses microorganisms placed in fermenters to convert synthesis gas into chemical products. The gases will be derived either from carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide and hydrogen and may 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," said Stefan Buchholz, head of the company's strategic innovation arm, Creavis. "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," he said. 

The U.S. company based at Roselle, Illinois, claims to be a leader in gas-fermentation technology, using proprietary microorganisms to capture waste gas streams for production of low carbon fuels and chemical intermediates.