Skokie’s LanzaTech a finalist for climate change award

The company is in the running for an Earthshot Prize, sponsored by Britain’s Prince William.

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Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech.

Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech.

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The Chicago area has a rooting interest in this year’s Earthshot Prize, a global competition for solutions to climate change.

Skokie-based LanzaTech is among 15 finalists for 5 awards to be announced this year. The company was recognized for technology that captures carbon emissions and turns them into useful products, such as sustainable fuels, packaging and cosmetics.

The competition is supported by Prince William, heir to the British throne, through his Royal Foundation. William announced the finalists Friday. Each winner will get 1 million pounds, about $1.1 million, to develop and scale up their projects.

LanzaTech said its technology is in use at three plants in China to convert carbon emissions into ethanol. In turn, the ethanol has been used in consumer products from Zara, Unilever, Lululemon and other major brands.

Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, said 7 more plants using its technology are under construction and another 7 are in the design phase. Winners will be announced Dec. 2 in Boston.

William called the finalists “visionaries’’ who offer reasons to be optimistic about the planet’s future.

“They are directing their time, energy and talent towards bold solutions with the power to not only solve our planet’s greatest environmental challenges, but to create healthier, more prosperous, and more sustainable communities for generations to come,’’ he said in a statement.

William started the competition in 2020, taking as inspiration U.S. President John Kennedy’s 1962 “moonshot” speech and applying its challenge to achieve something difficult to combate climate change. Finalists are listed at earthshotprize.org.

Contributing: Associated Press

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