RFA says carbon-negative ethanol achievable within decades

Source: By Kellan Heavican, Brownfield • Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2022

Geoff Cooper says one plan to help create zero-carbon ethanol would be to “connect ethanol facilities together via pipeline – to take that CO2 from fermentation and sequester it underground,” he says. “That would have a significant impact on the carbon intensity of corn ethanol.”

He says farmers are already using climate-smart practices. “They can drive down the carbon intensity of the feed stock to the point where we’re getting low carbon or zero carbon corn coming into the front gate of the ethanol plant.”

And, he says there are opportunities to replace natural gas with biogas at refineries. “In many cases, we have some plants doing it today.  They’re using renewable electricity to meet their electricity needs at the biorefinery in leu of fossil-generated electricity.”

Cooper says a study from RFA will be released soon that will analyze each pathway and the combinations of those pathways and how they will reach net zero corn ethanol.

He says combining all of these forms could even help the industry reach carbon negative-status, which is taking more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than it’s putting in.