A new study published by the Environmental Research Letter this week finds that greenhouse gas emissions from corn ethanol have decreased by half over the last 30 years and are now estimated to be 46% lower than the average carbon intensity of gasoline with some corn ethanol in the market today achieving a reduction of more than 60 percent.
The study by Harvard and Tufts University and Environmental Health & Engineering Inc. scientists cite an American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) 2018 White Paper titled “The Case for Properly Valuing the Low Carbon Benefits of Corn Ethanol” that highlights how U.S. farmers and ethanol producers are improving efficiencies, investing in technologies, and adopting practices to dramatically reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from corn ethanol.
“The findings in this report reinforce what we have been promoting for the last several years; the greenhouse gas reduction benefits of corn ethanol have been significantly undervalued because too many regulatory bodies refuse to apply or use the latest lifecycle science,” ACE CEO Brian Jennings said. “Today’s corn ethanol indeed reduces GHGs by approximately 50 percent compared to gasoline, and given improvements occurring in corn farming and within ethanol facilities, corn ethanol’s carbon footprint will continue to decline over time.”
“As elected leaders at the state and federal level look to craft new policies to tackle climate change and meet net-zero emission goals, we strongly encourage them to appreciate that corn farmers and ethanol producers are part of the solution,” Jennings added.