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C1 Gas Refinery R&D Center to push ahead in gas conversion technology development

The state-led C1 Gas Refinery R&D Center hosted an international symposium last month in Seoul to discuss latest biotechnologies used in gas conversion, officials said Monday.

The event was held in Sogang University on June 30 and invited Lanzatech, a biofuel company equipped with advanced technology to turn industrial waste gases into low-carbon fuels, along with local companies.

Researchers of C1 Gas Refinery R&D Center pose for a photo. (CGRC)
Researchers of C1 Gas Refinery R&D Center pose for a photo. (CGRC)

Among discussions at the symposium were global market trends on the back of the rising “Shale 2.0 era,” which refers to the second phase of shale revolution using big data analytics to increase the amount of shale produce, according to the center.

Lanzatech introduced its carbon recycling technology to participants, while the center, which focuses on technology converting methane and carbon monoxide gases to biofuels and chemicals, shared its most recent patent applications and technology transfer activities.

Founded in New Zealand in 2005, Lanzatech is a Chicago-based producer of low-carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gases, methane and carbon monoxide. The biofuel company owns advanced technologies in gas conversion, which turns industrial gas wastes from steel mills into ethanol and chemicals such as 2- and 3-butanediol.

Lanzatech is the world’s first company to construct commercial-size facilities to convert methane and carbon monoxide gases to other products. It is currently constructing two separate facilities, one at ArcelorMittal’s steel plant in Belgium and another in Taiwan with the country’s largest steelmaker China Steel. It is also in the process of developing gas conversion technology that can be used at shale facilities, the center added.

By using low-carbon fuels produced through the technology, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by 60 percent compared to gasoline, the center said.

The R&D center, which started its research in 2015 with the support of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, also promoted its recent research outcomes during the event.

“The symposium was the first opportunity for the center to exchange with the leading company in the gas conversion sector,” said Lee Jin-won, the center’s chief professor. “The center will aim to move forward in developing and commercializing its own gas conversion technologies, and continue to cooperate with companies with advanced technologies,” he added.

The center will aim to file more patent applications and try to carry out technology transfers with local companies, such as the nation’s largest steelmaker Posco, to allow them to covert gas wastes to more lucrative biofuels or chemicals, the center said.

The nation’s overall annual waste gases from local steel production facilities reach 20 million tons.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)

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