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BACTERIA TURNS INDUSTRIAL GAS EMISSIONS INTO FUEL

BACTERIA TURNS INDUSTRIAL GAS EMISSIONS INTO FUEL

The industrial sector at a global level: sites such as major steel industry, refineries and chemical plants contribute more than 30% of worldwide emission of gasses that cause the greenhouse effect. Where most people only see contamination, a company called LanzaTech saw an opportunity.

La solucion está en las bacterias que comen dióxido de carbono, desarrolladas detalladamente para la fermentación. Pero, en lugar de alimentarse de azúcar o maíz se nutren de gases de efecto invernaderos y producen etanol.

The industrial sector worldwide contributes more than 30% of world emissions of gasses that cause the greenhouse effect, which come from sites like steel mills, refineries and chemical plants. In this situation, where the majority of people only see contamination, a company called LanzaTech spotted an opportunity.

"There are many gasses in industrial plants. Instead of contaminating, they can be made into a product," explained Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech.

Las bacterias se comportan similar que la levadura en los reactores, asegura la empresa. «En lugar de dejar que las emisiones de carbono salgan de una siderurgia, las capturamos, las ponemos en un biorreactor y las fermentamos. Igual que si estuvieras haciendo cerveza, para general etanol«, señaló Holmgren.

La clave está en las bacterias que comen dióxido de carbono, desarrolladas específicamente para la fermentación. Pero, en vez de alimentarse de azúcar o maíz se alimentan de gases de efecto invernadero y producen etanol. «Es un producto natural. Lo que hemos hecho es dirigir la evolución para optimizarlo», asevera la CEO de LanzaTech, Jennifer Holmgren.

In 2018, the company installed its first system in a steel plant in China.

The company ensures that it has recycled enough carbon dioxide to produce more than 40 million liters of ethanol, which can be combined with jet fuel and thus supply commercial flights.

Now, the company is exploring other industries and deveoping new strains of bacteria that could produce ingredients for nylon, rubber and plastic.

Holmgren anticipates that before the year 2022, they will be able to generate a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions the equivalent of taking 1 billion cars off the roads every year.