May 5—A Lockport company has been hired to participate in a project that will convert carbon dioxide into jet fuel.
Chemical Design Inc., located on Market Street, has been hired by LanzaJet, a company focused on the transition to sustainable fuel and decarbonization. Through its parent company, Zeton International, CDI will be working with LanzaJet on a part of the chemical processing needed for the goal.
"There's some trace impurities that need to be removed, because otherwise it would deactivate a catalyst," James Ibaugh, president of CDI, said. "The process converts the ethanol into ethylene and then from there it makes a heavier hydrocarbon jet fuel. Chemical Design's involvement is only removing impurities. Two or three different steps."
CDI was an independent company in Lockport since 1959, but was bought by Zeton in September 2019. It has been doing the same kind of work it's always done, removing impurities from gasses, natural gas and petrochemicals. Ibaugh said there's a lot of synergies between Zeton and CDI, which can be seen through their common customer, LanzaJet, and its project to make travel more green.
"Jet fuel typically comes from fossil fuels, petroleum based," Leile Dukhedin-Lala, president and CEO of Zeton said. "LanzaJet has technology that makes ethanol from carbon dioxide in a bioreactor using 'bugs.' That ethanol is then used to make ethylene, then ethylene is then used in process to make jet fuel. So, the idea is that LanzaJet is reducing the carbon footprint with CO2 utilization to make jet fuel."