Biofuels have reduced carbon emissions by almost one billion metric tons, according to a new study for the Renewable Fuels Association. The research by Life Cycle Associates shows a 980-million metric ton cut in carbon-based greenhouse gas emissions from 2008 to last year.
Renewable Fuels Association chief Geoff Cooper says the Renewable Fuel Standard has exceeded original expectations partly due to a better ethanol production process and partly due to improvements in farming.
“Yes, there is fossil energy used in planting and harvesting a corn crop or any other biomass that might be used for power generation, but those emissions are far less when you total them up, than what is associated with natural gas and certainly, far less than what you’d see with coal,” Cooper said.
The latest study found corn ethanol had larger greenhouse gas reductions than the Environmental Protection Agency’s forecast, gasoline and diesel were more polluting than expected, and biodiesel and renewable diesel were less so.
The bottom line is the carbon intensity of corn ethanol is now 45 percent less than that of gasoline and 20 percent better than before the study period. That’s a strong argument for using more ethanol.
“We think that renewable fuels like ethanol should play a significant role in the U.S. commitment to achieving carbon reductions. So, we do think there’s an opportunity,” Cooper added. “We think there’s definitely a role for low-carbon renewable fuels to play in any of these policy objectives moving forward.”
Ethanol groups are ramping up their push for corn ethanol and other biofuels as the Biden Administration pushes efforts to convert public and private vehicles to renewables.
Source: NAFB News Service