TechnipFMC and LanzaTech in Hummingbird Deal

28.07.2020 - TechnipFMC has announced the first commercial application of its Hummingbird sustainable ethanol-to-ethylene technology, following a licensing deal with LanzaTech. The engineering contractor originally acquired the process from BP Chemicals in June 2016.

The US biotech will combine the technology with its own alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) process to make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in a first commercial-scale demonstration plant at its integrated biorefinery on the Freedom Pines site in Soperton, Georgia, USA. The plant will produce 10 million gallons annually of SAF and renewable diesel.

The facility, which is partially funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and leverages technology developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, one of the DOE’s national laboratories, will go into production in early 2022.

“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,” said Stan Knez, senior vice-president process technology at Technip Energies. “The Hummingbird bioethylene provides companies an alternative chemical pathway as a building block for a biorefinery.”

TechnipFMC said the technology is based on a simple, low-cost process for dehydrating ethanol to ethylene, with its proprietary hetropolyacid heterogeneous catalyst enabling lower temperature, higher pressure and more selectivity compared with traditional processes that use alumina-based catalysts.