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LanzaTech claims top honours at two global cleantech awards

LanzaTech claims top honours at two global cleantech awards
Kiwi cleantech firm LanzaTech has not just held onto its spot in the prestigious Global Cleantech Top 100 but been named “Company of the Year Asia Pacific” for 2011 to boot. The clean energy technology company has also been judged to have shown the “Best Innovation by an SME” in the global ICIS Innovations Awards.

The plaudits just keep on coming for Kiwi cleantech firm LanzaTech – it has not just held onto its spot in the prestigious Global Cleantech Top 100 but been named “Company of the Year Asia Pacific” for 2011 to boot.

The clean energy technology company has also been judged to have shown the “Best Innovation by an SME” in the global ICIS Innovations Awards.

Chief executive Dr Jennifer Holmgren said being named in the Top 100 list for the second year running, and now as Asia Pacific Company of the Year, recognises the potential LanzaTech has to make a real impact on the world’s energy future.

The Global Cleantech Top 100 list focuses on private companies considered to be most likely to make the most significant market impact over the next five to 10 years.

To qualify for the list, companies must be independent, for-profit companies not listed on any major stock exchange. A total of 4,274 companies were nominated this year from more than 45 countries.

“It is particularly significant that the ICIS award comes straight after World Food Day (October 16). It is increasingly vital for the world to produce more energy without threatening food production. LanzaTech’s novel gas-liquid fermentation process produces fuels and chemicals without any impact on the food value chain.”

Environmental considerations played a key part in all the winning entries in the ICIS Awards. John Baker, global editor at ICIS, said there was an emphasis on bio-based technologies this year, designed to replace oil and gas feedstocks in the chemical industry or reduce carbon emissions. Seven of the 14 shortlisted entries involved bio-based technologies.

LanzaTech’s innovation caught the judges' eyes as it incorporates synthesis-gas technology and bioprocessing to give an economically robust route to carbon capture and re-use.

ICIS Awards judge Dr Gregg Zank, chief technology officer at Dow Corning, said LanzaTech’s technology had the potential to be disruptive in the long term, especially if it could develop or modify the organisms further to increase the range of chemicals produced.

"There is a lot of novelty here," he said.

Fellow judge, Dr Adrian Higson from the UK Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and Materials, said LanzaTech’s marriage of thermoprocessing and bio-processing gave it a flexible platform.