Partnership to produce polypropylene from CO2

Article by Amanda Doyle

BIOTECHNOLOGY company LanzaTech and clean technology company Twelve – formerly Opus 12 – have joined forces to produce polypropylene from captured CO2.

The partnership has been awarded US$200,000 from Impact Squared, a fund launched by Barclays Bank and Unreasonable for entrepreneurs tackling the world’s most pressing challenges. This will enable the companies to take a collaborative approach to reducing the need for fossil fuels to produce essential products such as polypropylene.

LanzaTech’s Pollution to Products technology can produce ethanol and other materials by fermenting waste CO2 from industry, and Twelve’s technology converts CO2 into cost-competitive chemicals using electrochemistry. It produces a new category of products that it calls CO2Made, as they are manufactured from air rather than petrochemicals.

Etosha Cave, Chief Science Officer from Twelve, said: “Polypropylene is a key material for essential medical supplies and for many products we rely on in our daily lives. Today, 100% of new polypropylene in use worldwide is made from petrochemicals. We now have a way to produce this critical material from CO2 and water instead of from fossil fuels, with no tradeoffs in quality, efficacy or performance. Replacing all of the world’s fossil polypropylene production with CO2Made polypropylene would reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 700m t/y or more.”

Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, said: “By harnessing biology, we can leverage the power of nature to solve a very modern problem. The overabundance of CO2 in our atmosphere has pushed our planet into a state of emergency. We need all carbon transformation solutions to turn this liability into an opportunity, keeping fossil resources in the ground, and our climate safe for everyone.”

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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