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martes, 11 de julio de 2017

IndianOil and LanzaTech to build world’s first refinery off-gas to ethanol plant

LanzaTech is well known for having developed a gas fermentation process to make fuels and chemicals. Its technology transforms carbon-rich waste gases into useful liquid commodities using microbes that grow on gases. Hitherto, its demo facilities has been mainly focused on recycling flue gases from steelmaking industry. Its first commercial facility converting waste emissions from steel production to ethanol will come online in China in late 2017. But, it is broadening horizons. According to a very recent announcement, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IndianOil, India’s flagship national oil company) and LanzaTech have just signed a Statement of Intent to construct the world’s first refinery off gas-to-ethanol production facility in India.

Project datasheet:
IndianOil’s Panipat Refinery in Hayrana (India). It will be integrated into existing site infrastructure.
Refinery off-gases.
Products and production capacity
40 million litres (35 kton) of ethanol per year.
Gas fermentation.
Estimated cost
350 crore rupees (55 M$).
Basic engineering will begin later this year.

Figure 1. Jennifer Holmgren (CEO of LanzaTech) and SSV Ramakumar (Director R&D of IndianOil) sign the Statement of Intent in the presence of the Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and other personalities

The ethanol produced from the recycling of refinery off-gases is expected to have a greenhouse gas emissions savings of over 70% compared to conventional gasoline. The potential impact of using off-gases from the refining sector in India is considerable. It would be able to produce 40-50 kton of ethanol per refinery while saving about 1 million tons of CO2 per year.

India is adopting a cleaner and more sustainable economic growth pathway. The Government is running one of the largest renewable capacity expansion programmes in the world. Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, said: “India is on track to exceed its Paris commitments. This is thanks to investment in novel low-carbon technologies such as this project between IndianOil and LanzaTech. It is promising to see carbon turned from a liability into an opportunity, where we can reduce emissions, maximise resources and decarbonise our economy.”

In the same way, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has fixed targets to increase the supply of ethanol-blended petrol (E10) to all parts of the country. IndianOil is aligned with this Ministerial vision and is working to both reduce its overall emissions and to improve refinery yields. Moreover, it signed in December 2016 two agreements to set up 2G ethanol plants (see more details in this post).

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