Ethanol produced by Poet’s planned cellulosic ethanol plant at Scotland, SD, will reduce carbon emissions by 111% over gasoline, an independent analysis shows.
That means the 25-million-gallon Project Liberty will have negative emissions; it will offset more greenhouse gas emissions than it produces, say company officials.
“Not only is cellulosic ethanol a clean and safe alternative fuel, in cases such as Project Liberty, it can literally reverse some of the effects of our nation's dependence on fossil energy such as oil,” says CEO Jeff Broin. “By expanding the number of sources for ethanol production, the entire nation can contribute to helping our nation's economy, security and environment through alternative fuel production.”
The analysis, compiled by Air Improvement Resource, Inc., Novi, MI, included emissions from planting and harvest, feedstock transportation, conversion to ethanol, waste products, co-products and transportation of the ethanol. It also included Environmental Protection Agency calculations for changes in land use and effects on agriculture inputs.
Poet officials list the characteristics of the company’s process that bring emissions reductions:
• Project Liberty produces ethanol from agriculture waste (corn cobs). Because it uses a waste product from an existing crop, there are no additional inputs for planting and growing the feedstock.
• The disputed theory of indirect land-use change, which creates an emissions penalty for grain-based ethanol, does not have any penalty associated with cellulosic ethanol.
• The waste stream from Poet’s process is fed into two anaerobic digesters to create biogas. Enough biogas is produced to completely power both Project Liberty and the adjacent grain-based ethanol plant. The natural gas displaced in this process is credited to the cellulosic ethanol plant.
"The production of biogas as a co-product is an exciting aspect of this process," says Broin."We will use renewable energy to produce renewable energy.