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Addressing Industrial Gas Waste

January 23, 2012

It has been recognized for quite some time now about the dangers that industrial gas waste poses to man and the environment.  There has been quite a number of initiatives to address this issue both from cause oriented groups and from governments.

As we can see countries are sometimes at odds with each other as to the sharing of the burden for cleaning or putting caps on harmful emissions.  One approach to this complex issue is to look for business solutions.  Are there business opportunities to these problems that can be part of the solution?

In 2005, a company was launched in New Zealand, called LanzaTech.  The company’s goal is ‘to develop and commercialize proprietary technologies for the production of low-carbon fuels that do not compromise food or land resources’.  The company is looking at new ideas to help solve not only the issue of industrial waste, but also trying to address the equal distribution of energy to everyone who needs it.

While this can be considered very ambitious it seems like a step in the right direction, here’s a company trying to be part of the solution instead of the problem.

One of the approaches it has developed is known as the LanzaTech Process. Industrial gases that contain carbon monoxide like those produced from steel manufacturing, and oil production, are captured in a bioreactor containing water, microbes, and other components. The microbes break down the gases and later there is separation of the broth into useful chemical and fuel products, co-products and by-products. The water is recycled.

The process illustrates how useful products can be created out of waste. This is a form of recycling and at the same time carbon emission is lessened.

The company has received international awards for its innovative approaches. The world’s growing population creates many product and energy needs that produce pollution aside from depleting the earth’s dwindling resources. Companies like LanzaTech have changed business views, showing opportunities in our great energy and pollution problem.

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