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Syngas fermentation (bioethanol)


Technology Description

Syngas (a mixture of mostly hydrogen [H‚ÇÇ], carbon monoxide [CO], and carbon dioxide [CO‚ÇÇ]) is fermented to ethanol and other biofuels (e.g. butanol, acetic acid, etc.) using micro-organisms that function as bio-catalysts. Syngas can be produced via multiple routes, including gasification of biomass with high lignocellulosic content (e.g. wood, straw, residues from forestry and agriculture, municipal solid waste) and via heating in an oxygen-restricted environment. Syngas can also be produced using off-gases from industrial processes like iron and steel manufacturing. However, when using fossil-derived syngas, the emissions reductions potential tend to be lower than using renewable sources of syngas.

Relevance for Net Zero

Alternative routes at higher TRL exist to create ethanol, and ethanol coupled with CCS provides valuable negative emissions in the future.

Key Countries

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