Study shows ethanol exceeded greenhouse gas expectations

Source: By Larry Lee, Brownfield News • Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019


A new USDA study shows today’s ethanol is more environmentally friendly than previously thought.
USDA’s Jan Lewandrowski says, “The ethanol that we’re producing today is much more greenhouse gas friendly than the ethanol we produced in 2010.”

Lewandrowski says additional improvements at ethanol refineries, combined with on-farm conservation practices like reduced tillage and cover crops have further decreased emissions associated with corn-based ethanol. “Our value is a 39% improvement over gasoline.”

And, Lewandrowski says with more ethanol plants going to natural gas and more farms improving conservation practices, he expects ethanol’s advantage over gasoline will improve again by 2022. “We can get upwards of 46.7% better than gasoline.”

Consumers will also be able to help reduce emissions when E15 becomes available year-round.

The USDA study also found farmers didn’t have to expand corn acreage as much as predicted in 2010, which also contributed to the overall drop in greenhouse gases.