ACE tells EPA administrator of ethanol’s environmental benefits not taken into account in LCA modeling

July 25, 2019 |

In Washington, the American Coalition for Ethanol’s CEO highlighted the important role corn ethanol could have in further reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions if properly valued under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, informing the agency of a recently published meta-analysis showing that corn stover retention results in significant soil carbon sequestration, and if taken into account by lifecycle modeling, reduces the GHG footprint of corn ethanol far below EPA’s current estimate.

This data, published in a recent study titled ‘A global meta-analysis of soil organic carbon response to corn stover removal,’goes goes on to say changes in soil carbon stocks can alter lifecycle GHG emissions for corn-based ethanol.

Additionally, the letter calls on EPA to adopt the latest Greenhouse gas and Regulated Emissions and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model, developed by DoE’s Argonne National Lab nearly three decades ago, as is also recommended in ACE’s white paper ‘The Case for Properly Valuing the Low Carbon Benefits of Corn Ethanol. ”Unlike Argonne’s GREET model, EPA’s lifecycle model has not been updated since your original (2010) corn ethanol assessment,’ the letter states. ‘Today the GREET model shows corn ethanol has nearly 50 percent lower GHG emissions than gasoline.’

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