Corn Growers Urge Treasury to Use GREET Model

Cindy Zimmerman

As news reports last week indicated the Biden administration will delay a critical decision regarding qualifications for Sustainable Aviation Fuel until December, corn grower leaders sent a letter urging adoption of the industry standard to determine which biofuels lower greenhouse gas emissions enough to qualify for tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act.

The letter sent to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was signed by the president of the National Corn Growers Association and leaders of state grower groups across the country and calls on Treasury to use an emissions standard referred to as the GREET model, which was developed by the DOE, rather than a less comprehensive international standard preferred by some groups.

“GREET is the federal government’s most robust and updated model or methodology for transportation lifecycle assessment,” the letter says. “It is used globally to measure lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, and the DOE has the best resources, expertise, and current ability within federal government agencies to assess lifecycle emissions accurately and scientifically.”

Unlike other models, GREET considers the full environmental picture, the corn growers noted.

“The GREET model accurately accounts for on-farm carbon reduction activities and feedstock yield increases and the improved agriculture production practices that farmers have adopted over the last twenty years,” the letter says. “This further solidifies GREET as the methodology Treasury and the IRS should use to determine tax credits for SAF under the IRA.”

aviation biofuels, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NCGA

Rabobank Sees Bright Future in SAF

Cindy Zimmerman

Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) are poised to take off in a big way on the wings of carrier commitments and changes to biofuel policy, according to a new report from Rabobank.

“The Future for Sustainable Aviation Fuels” forecasts SAF production capacity could potentially increase from 25 million gallons now to nearly 2.2 billion gallons by 2026. Beyond that, it could grow to as much as 34 billion gallons by 2050 in the U.S. alone.

Most of that will come from corn and soybeans, but other feedstocks will be needed to reach that full capacity according to Owen Wagner, Rabobank Senior Analyst for Grains & Oilseeds, who was at the recent Farm Progress Show. “We’re seeing more and more winter canola grown,” said Wagner. “Camelia was the oilseed of choice when the Air Force began its SAF program in 2011.”

Learn more in this interview.
2023 Farm Progress Show interview with Owen Wagner, Rabobank 8:25

Audio, aviation biofuels, canola, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Farm Progress Show

RFA Welcomes Three New Associate Members

Cindy Zimmerman

The Renewable Fuels Association is proud to welcome three new associate members to the organization: Nexus PMG, Avalon International Corp., and Energy Integration Inc.

Nexus PMG focuses on providing world-class advisory services to infrastructure investors by delivering technical, operational and financial diligence on projects that reduce carbon intensity and enhance resource efficiency.

Avalon International Corp. is a clean-energy project developer focusing on CO2 sequestration from industrial emitters. It is currently developing clean ethanol and H2 production projects across the USA.

Energy Integration Inc. was created to revolutionize biofuel production with hyper-efficient, electrified, energy-recovery systems that reduce energy usage and carbon intensity while saving facilities money. Its designs can retrofit existing facilities with minimal disruption to operations, and are already commercially proven in the field, including at Europe’s largest biorefinery.

“Ethanol’s critical role in the energy transition continues to attract new companies to RFA’s membership. Innovative businesses and cutting-edge technology providers from across the bioenergy industry continue to rally around our members’ pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

ACE Carbon Capture Panel

Cindy Zimmerman

The final panel at the recent American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) conference dealt with carbon capture and storage, and everything from permitting, construction, and operation of pipeline projects to CO2 utilization opportunities for ethanol producers.

ACE board president Dave Sovereign, Golden Grain Energy, moderated “The Journey to Capture, Store, and Utilize Carbon” which featured Britta Bergland, Senior Analyst for Merjent, Inc.; Aaron Eldridge, South Dakota Project Manager, Summit Carbon Solutions; and Ashkan Shoja-Nia, VP of Strategy and Business Development, StormFisher Hydrogen. Listen to their remarks below.

2023 ACE Panel Britta Bergland, Merjent 14:18

2023 ACE Panel Aaron Eldridge, Summit Carbon Solutions 15:53

2023 ACE Panel Ashkan Shoja-Nia, StormFisher Hydrogen 15:49

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, Carbon, carbon capture, Ethanol

EcoEngineers Helping Ethanol Lower Carbon Intensity

Cindy Zimmerman

Lowering the carbon intensity of corn ethanol is the number one focus for the industry right now, and EcoEngineers is helping producers do what it takes.

“If they can incentivize or enhance a climate-smart ag production process, or some way to take out energy or reduce carbon emissions, sequester carbon, all of those components to lower the CI…it helps all the way around,” said Mark Heckman, EcoEngineers Strategic Development Director. Heckman was at the recent American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) conference talking with ethanol producers about solutions that can reduce their plant’s carbon footprint.

Learn more about EcoEngineers in this interview.
2023 ACE interview Mark Heckman, EcoEngineers 4:24

2023 ACE Conference photo album

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, Carbon, Ethanol

Ethanol and DDGS Exports Gain Momentum

Cindy Zimmerman

According to the latest Renewable Fuels Association trade monitor, U.S. ethanol exports increased one percent in July to a three month high of 113.4 million gallons (mg).

Canada was our largest destination for the 28th consecutive month with a whopping 55% of global sales. A record 62.6 mg (bolstered by 58 mg in denatured ethanol)—a 23% month-over-month leap—was the fourth-largest single month U.S. exports purchased by any country. Essentially all remaining gallons were distributed to nine markets, including the United Kingdom (up 23% to 16.7 mg), South Korea (up 5% to 10.7 mg), the European Union (down 55% to 7.1 mg), Colombia (down 22% to 4.3 mg), and Mexico (down 6% to 3.9 mg). Brazil and India again were notably absent from the market. Year-to-date ethanol exports total 818.3 mg.

Exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS) totaled 993,018 metric tons (mt) in July, up five percent over June and the largest monthly exports in a year.

While imports softened 2% to 185,136 mt, Mexico held firmly for the 13th consecutive month as the largest U.S. DDGS market. Exports swung higher in Vietnam (up 11% to 124,184 mt), Indonesia (up 31% to 120,839 mt for a record high), and Turkey (roughly double at 89,859 mt) but scaled back in the European Union (down 9% to 68,879 mt), South Korea (down 26% to 64,888 mt, the lowest monthly volume in more than 3 years), and Canada (down 16% to 59,670 mt). Rounding out our top ten customers in July were Japan (56,371 mt), Morocco (30,041 mt), and Taiwan (24,526 mt). Year-to-date U.S. DDGS exports total 6.11 million mt, which is 9% behind last year at this time.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

RFA Continues Higher Blend Support for Retailers

Cindy Zimmerman

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is hard at work helping retailers apply for the most recent round of funding under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP)

RFA has received inquiries from more than 60 companies interested in applying for the $450 million in matching grants and has led five webinars in conjunction with fuel marketing groups in Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and with the strong support of the National Corn Growers Association.

“This is the most exciting funding round yet,” said RFA Director of Market Development Cassie Mullen. “We anticipate greater interest than ever before, thanks to increased limit levels and additional incentives focused on smaller businesses. Over the last three rounds, we have had a perfect success rate in submitting these applications, and we are committed to keeping that streak going. The journey to a successful application is not an easy one; it takes a lot of work and commitment.”

Mullen says guidelines for the HBIIP applications have changed some in this new funding round. For instance, interested parties have five 90-day rounds to process applications (through Sept. 30, 2024) as opposed to the customary single 90-day timetable. Additionally, there are new incentives for smaller businesses, as well as revised cap amounts.

To streamline the application process and better assist interested parties, RFA launched HBIIP University, a resource that provides applicants a secure platform to engage with our staff and utilize in-depth resources including step-by-step video tutorials, interactive documents, and verified example documents to ensure a successful submission.

Since 2020, via HBIIP and state programs, RFA has helped more than 85 companies secure grants in 21 states for almost $68 million in funding, matched by over $217 million in retailer funding for almost $285 million towards higher blend infrastructure. For more information, fuel retailers and other interested parties can reach Mullen at (832) 415-7882 or

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, Retailers, RFA

Secretary Vilsack at #FPS23

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack stopped at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois Wednesday to award $266 million in loans and grants for agriculture producers and rural small businesses to make investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements, made possible in part by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Vilsack used a white board to talk about funding under the IRA Climate Smart Agriculture initiative that is being used to help increase farm income while helping the environment. “There are 141 projects, we’re putting three billion dollars into those projects across every major commodity, every state in the country,” said Vilsack. “Farmers are going to get paid to adopt climate smart agricultural practices and new markets are going to be created.”

Listen to Vilsack’s remarks here:
2023 Farm Progress Show - Secretary Tom Vilsack 12:52

Vilsack met briefly with reporters and said the administration “hasn’t forgotten about biofuels, it hasn’t forgotten about ethanol. The administration understands it.”

The secretary went on to note what the Biden administration has done for the biofuels industry. “What administration has made E-15 year-round available? What administration has put billions of dollars into the development of sustainable aviation fuel?…What administration ended the rather liberal use of waivers to allow petroleum companies to basically skirt their responsibilities under the RFS…The answer to every one of those questions is the Biden administration.”

2023 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

Audio, biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Farm Progress Show

Outlook for Ethanol Exports

Cindy Zimmerman

Rick Schwark, Absolute Energy, and Mackenzie Boubin, USGC, at ACE Confernce

Mackenzie Boubin, Director of Global Ethanol Export Development for the U.S. Grains Council, gave an update on the outlook for ethanol exports at the recent American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) annual conference in Minneapolis.

“The United States represents over half of the ethanol production in the world,” said Boubin. “For our marketing year, we’re over one billion gallons. So we take about ten percent every year of the U.S. ethanol industry and we send it overseas.”

This marketing year, Boubin says, exports are down about 200 million gallons from last year, mainly due to Brazil and China. “Despite those two markets, the fact we’re diversifying more than ever, nearly 100 countries are taking our product, shows that we really do have that competitive advantage,” she said.

Boubin talks about the most important countries right now for U.S. ethanol in her presentation.
2023 ACE - Mackenzie Boubin, USGC 34:01

2023 ACE Conference photo album

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, USGC

Ethanol Expected to Save Labor Day Travelers $155 Million

Cindy Zimmerman

As temperatures have heated up this summer, so have gasoline prices, with regular unleaded gasoline up to $3.87 per gallon during the week ending August 21, the highest price in nearly a year and well above the long-term average. However, the good news is that ethanol is helping to keep gas prices lower than they would be without it for American families money as they hit the road for Labor Day, according to Renewable Fuels Association chief economist Scott Richman who did the math.

Almost all finished motor gasoline sold in the U.S. contains 10% ethanol, a blend referred to as E10. In June and July, E10 cost $0.40 less per gallon at wholesale than regular unleaded gasoline without ethanol. Assuming a similar discount in August, which is conservative since ethanol prices have declined while gasoline prices have risen, the presence of ethanol will have directly reduced Americans’ spending on gasoline by $14 billion this summer, equivalent to $108 per household, according to an analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association. For Labor Day weekend alone, ethanol is expected to save travelers $155 million on gasoline purchases.

The savings are even greater for E15, a 15% ethanol blend that is approved for more than 95% of the cars and trucks on the road today. In order to “provide Americans with relief at the pump,” the Biden administration has issued a series of waivers allowing E15 to be sold in conventional gasoline areas this summer. As noted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, similar E15 waivers last summer helped keep a lid on pump prices. Given the compelling economics, RFA estimated that U.S. sales of E15 surged 26% to a record 1.02 billion gallons in 2022.

The moral of the story is to use higher blends of ethanol whenever driving to save more money at the pump. In addition, there’s one more week of the RFA Days of Summer Free Fuel Contest for the chance to win $250 in free fuel.

There are two ways to enter and win:
Submit prices to Register for an account or log in at or use the mobile app. Submit retail station prices for higher blends of ethanol like E15 and E85.
Submit pictures of higher blend prices on Twitter. Pictures can be of the fuel dispenser or price sign and should include, at a minimum, regular unleaded (E10) and E15 and/or E85. Include station name, city, and state. Tag @EthanolRFA and include the hashtags: #ethanol #E15 #E85 and #fuelprices (unless those words are already mentioned).

Contestants are entered into a random weekly drawing for a pre-paid credit card to be used for fuel purchases and the final drawing will be next week.

E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA