The managers of a clean energy Auckland company using bacteria to produce ethanol from steel mill smoke-stacks have been named among the “Top 100 People in Bioenergy” around the world.
LanzaTech co-founder and chief scientist Sean Simpson, and chief executive Jennifer Holmgren have come in at number 38 in a poll with 15,000 entries from the readers of ‘Biofuels Digest’. Vinod Khosla, an American venture capitalist who is part-owner of LanzaTech and one of its initial start-up investors, was named at number 15 on the list.
The company was founded in 2005 to develop and commercialise proprietary bacterial technologies to produce low-cost fuel ethanol from the carbon monoxide in low-hydrogen waste gases. This year it has partnered with China giants, steelmaker Baosteel and coal miner Henan Coal and Chemicals, along with a research and development collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In September LanzaTech announced a new-product breakthrough – successfully producing 2,3-Butanediol (2.3-BD), a key polymers, plastics and hydrocarbon fuels building block, using its gas fermentation technology.
The voted winner was U.S.A secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack, who just edged out POET chief executive Jeff Broin, and a trio of Brazilian bioenergy leaders at UNICA, Cosan and Petrobras.
In total, industry executives from a dozen countries made the list, and more than 400 individuals received votes.