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🌳 Carbon Recycling Technology

Climate Tech Cocktails

Photo by Marjan Blan | @marjanblan / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Matt Myers
Guest: Jennier Holmgren | CEO | LanzaTech
Category: 🌳 Carbon Capture | Carbon Recycling

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[31:40] “ Let's start with a premise. There's already enough carbon above the ground, to make everything we need. […] Nature doesn't waste anything. [It’s] the original circular economy. And I think that's the one thing that humanity hasn't learned. We waste everything. […] And really, what we need to come to is a world where there is no such thing as waste, where waste is feedstock or the way you make everything else. And so that's actually the premise of LanzaTech: We can make everything from detergents to shorts to beautiful party dresses from some type of recycled carbon.”

[33:14] “We use 100 billion gallons a year of aviation fuel. There aren't 100 billion gallons worth of soy or cooking oil. There are, however, 100 billion gallons worth of waste gasses or trash. And so we're just on a mission to show that you can use these resources to make other things. And the way we think about it is any waste can be converted, any waste can be reused. […] Every time we do that a carbon molecule doesn't end up in our atmosphere. And two, we keep carbon in the ground.”

[45:29] “The technology is a bacteria. So we do fermentation. And just like fermenting sugar to make beer, we make beer, but instead of fermenting sugar, we ferment gasses. And so there's a lot of problems to be solved in doing that. One is you have to have a bacteria that's really efficient at eating stuff and making ethanol. The other thing you have to do is you have to have a reactor that allows these gasses which are not soluble, to get into the water and get to the bacteria. […] We are a biotech company that has as big an engineering team as the bio side. […] We just ferment these gasses that everybody thinks are waste, and we convert them to ethanol. And then we take that ethanol and use it as feedstock for everything else, for aviation fuel, yoga pants, detergents, and party dresses.

[58:41] “As with any new disruptive technology, you solve two problems at the same time. […] We're going to reduce our carbon emissions from industry, because that's our feedstock. […] And then on the backend, we're going to be making products that people normally need, so that we could keep carbon in the ground. And we're going to put it in this perpetual or circular loop. […] There's no point in converting waste carbon into something unless somebody can use that product. The other option is just bury it. […] Frankly, we've gone so far in our carbon emissions that sequestration is important. But I'm a capitalist. And if I bury it, it costs me money. If I turn it into something somebody wants, I make money.

[1:02:33] “I always tell my team that if our technology is the only one that wins, we failed, because we're not enough to change our climate trajectory.[…] We say we're trying to create carbon smart consumers. I do believe that consumers have a role to play. And if I can get a party dress made from recycled carbon, that's going to be 10, 20, 30 people talking about that party dress and talking about carbon, talking about why climate change is important, talking about the fact that everything we use comes from fossil carbon, and saying we're going to have to do something.”

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google (Original Title: "LanzaTech: Jennifer Holmgren")
🕰️ 1 hr 10 min | 🗓️ 04/19/2022
✅ Time saved: 1 hr 8 min

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