New research was released this week showing that gasoline blended with ethanol lowers carbon intensity (CI) even more than what is currently believed.
The research, conducted by Transport Energy Strategies (TES) and THiggins Energy Consulting, found that blending ethanol into gasoline enables a reduction of aromatics in the fuel, and since aromatics have a high CI, their reduction further decreases the GHG impact of 10 percent ethanol blends (E10).
“For years, the ethanol industry has touted the value of displacing aromatics with ethanol from an air pollution and public health standpoint, but no one has, to our team’s knowledge, ever considered what displacement might mean for carbon intensity and for reducing GHG emissions,” said Tammy Klein, founder and CEO of Transport Energy Strategies and a member of the study team. “Our findings break new ground.”
Based on the findings by TES, Urban Air Initiative calculates that when credited for lowering aromatics, ethanol’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are 56% lower than gasoline, compared to the currently modeled 43% reduction.
“This is just one more example of how ethanol helps decarbonize liquid transportation fuels. It’s a readily available, clean, plant based solution that’s already made more of a difference than it has been credited for. The findings by TES demonstrate the need to update the current science and recognize ethanol’s ability to have an even larger carbon benefit with increased availability of higher blends,” said Urban Air Initiative President Dave VanderGriend.
American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says the research aligns with ACE’s multi-year engagement with administration and legislative officials, as well as scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory in regards to properly valuing corn ethanol’s low carbon and high octane attributes. “We hope future lifecycle models will credit ethanol for the role it plays in displacing aromatics in gasoline.”