Sinopec announces strategic investment in LanzaTech
Photo courtesy of Sinopec

Sinopec announces strategic investment in LanzaTech

Sinopec Capital, the industrial investment arm of China’s Sinopec Group, has announced an investment in U.S.-based LanzaTech, with a focus on promoting direct production of chemicals from waste carbon. The details of the financial transaction were not disclosed.

Earlier, Sinopec announced its plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. One of the world’s largest integrated energy and chemical conglomerate, Sinopec has previously announced initiatives involving investments in hydrogen, including building 1,000 hydrogen refuelling stations and related infrastructure by 2025. 

LanzaTech’s platform takes pollution and recycles it, eliminating single-use carbon. Examples of the uses of LanzaTech’s technology include taking steel mill emissions in China and unsorted, unrecyclable household waste in Japan and converting these wastes to ethanol, which can be further converted to sustainable aviation fuel or polyethylene to produce consumer goods. 

Of particular interest to Sinopec is LanzaTech’s synthetic biology capability which enables the production of chemicals directly from waste carbon, rather than via a building block such as ethanol. More than 50 chemicals have already been demonstrated by LanzaTech, including continuous production of acetone and isopropyl alcohol at pilot scale.

When products made via this carbon recycling process reach the end of their useful life, they can go unsorted and uncleaned to a LanzaTech facility and be converted back into a gas stream and recycled repeatedly without losing any of the properties of the original material. This locks carbon into a cycle and supports a transition to a circular economy, an area of focus in China’s State Council guidelines released in February to develop a green and low-carbon circular economy, emphasizing energy and resource conservation at all levels.

The transaction aligns with China’s commitments to promoting energy system transformation and reforming its entire economic and social system to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality and the U.S.-China collaboration in the development of climate solutions.

“LanzaTech represents the world-leading carbon recycling company. It is the strategic move for Sinopec Capital, through investment in LanzaTech, to invest in bio-chemical value chain and debut in an international market of new energy and new materials. Capital investment plays an integral part in catalyzing the application and marketing of biotechnology while serving as an important way towards carbon capture, conversion and recycling. We at Sinopec Capital are committed to contribute to the transformation and upgrading of Sinopec Group, address climate change and deliver the target of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality,” said Huang Wensheng, chairman of Sinopec Capital.

“We are delighted to have Sinopec Capital join us on our journey to a future where everything we use in our daily lives can be made from waste resources. We welcome the expertise of Sinopec Group, parent of Sinopec Capital, in deployment, supply chains and chemical processing to accelerate deployment of our waste to chemicals platform globally,” said Jennifer Holmgren, chief executive officer of LanzaTech.

“Sinopec Capital’s focus on direct chemical production from wastes shows us a future where not everything must be made from fresh fossil carbon and that wastes, and residues will be key to enable a blue-sky future for all,” she added.

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