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ArcelorMittal partner LanzaTech makes CNBC fourth annual Disruptor 50 list

20.06.2016

ArcelorMittal partner LanzaTech, a pioneer in carbon recycling, has been named on the fourth annual CNBC Disruptor 50 list, ranking 13th in recognition of its disruptive business model for chemical supply chain.

With its flexible biological catalyst, LanzaTech’s process is changing the way people think about carbon, reusing it for multiple applications. The process enables companies to produce new goods from house hold cleaning products to sneakers, car upholstery and plastics from recycled greenhouse gases.

LanzaTech and ArcelorMittal In July 2015, our company announced it had entered a partnership with LanzaTech for the construction of Europe’s first-ever commercial scale production facility to create bioethanol from waste gases produced during the steelmaking process. The resulting bioethanol can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% compared with conventional fossil fuels. It will predominantly be used in gasoline blending, but it can also be further processed into other products such as drop in jet fuel.

The €87 million flagship pilot project is currently under construction at our steel plant in Ghent, Belgium. Production of bioethanol is expected to begin in 2017.

Approximately 50% of the carbon used in the chemistry of steelmaking leaves the process as carbon monoxide. Today, this waste gas stream is either flared or used to heat and power the steel mill. In either case, the carbon monoxide is combusted and the resulting CO2 is emitted. LanzaTech’s technology, however, recycles the waste gases and ferments them with a proprietary microbe to produce bioethanol. Every tonne of bioethanol produced, displaces 5.2 barrels of gasoline as well as reducing ArcelorMittal’s CO2 emissions by 2.3 tonnes.

Driving circular economy principles  Earlier this year, LanzaTech also announced the production of IPA, a chemical precursor to plastics manufacture, from recycled emissions. Using a feedstock that is not easily traded enables the chemical industry to move away from a commodity based supply chain, decoupling chemical production from fluctuating market cycles where producers must predict what will be profitable down the line before they invest in and build new units.

“We are disrupting the way the trillion dollar chemical industry thinks about commodity sourcing and supply,” said LanzaTech CEO, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren. “We are thrilled our technology platform and business model has been recognised by CNBC. By reusing waste gas streams, we are a step closer to creating a circular economy which reduces global carbon emissions while creating value. We believe it is this value creation which will accelerate adoption of low carbon technologies.”

LanzaTech was selected from more than 750 nominated companies. CNBC's Disruptor 50 Advisory Council — a group of 34 leading academics in innovation and entrepreneurship – ranked the companies by importance in ability to disrupt established industries and public companies, giving increased weighting to "creating a new market or ecosystem," scalability and originality.

Companies that made the 50 list by re-imagining a wide array of industries include Uber (#1), Airbnb (#2) and Snapchat (#16).