Auckland biotech developer LanzaTech now has the manager of President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, Jim Messina, on its board of directors.

The firm, which produces low-carbon fuels from waste gases, says Messina is a noted digital communications specialist who runs the Messina Group, a company that advises political campaigns and businesses.

LanzaTech chief executive Jennifer Holmgren said Messina's proven ability to harness technology, messaging and communications to support ideas would help the company in its drive to reshape how the world produces and consumes energy.

"Our technology transforms carbon emissions from a problem to an opportunity," Holmgren said. "This is a bold idea and we're thrilled that Jim shares our vision and is willing to help us tell our story."


While headquartered in the United States, LanzaTech's main research and development facility is in Auckland.

The company also announced this week that it had secured a US$4 million ($4.85 million) grant from a United States Department of Energy agency to work with partners on developing ways to unlock energy in waste methane gases.