EPA publishes notice of data availability for barley ethanol

By Erin Voegele | July 12, 2013

The U.S. EPA has published a notice of data availability pertaining to ethanol produced from barley under the renewable fuel standard (RFS). Public comments will be accepted for 30 days following the publication of the notice in the Federal Register.

According to the EPA, when barley is used as feedstock at ethanol facilities that use natural gas for all process energy, are powered by grid electricity, and dry 100 percent of their distillers grains, the resulting fuel meets the 20 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction threshold required by the RFS to qualify as a conventional renewable fuel.

Under certain process conditions, barley ethanol is able to achieve the 50 percent GHG reduction threshold, qualifying it as an advanced biofuel under the RFS.

Within the notice, the EPA describes the two potential options it analyzed for the production of advanced ethanol from barley feedstock. First, the agency said that ethanol produced from dry-milling barley can meet the 50 percent threshold when produced at a facility that uses no more than 30,700 Btu of natural gas for process energy, no more than 4,200 Btu of biomass from barley hulls or biogas from landfills, waste treatment plants, barley hull digesters, or waste digesters for process energy, and no more than 0.84 kWh of electricity from the grid, calculated on a per gallon basis.

According to the EPA, barley ethanol can also meet the 50 percent threshold if the production facility uses no more than 36,800 Btu of natural gas for process energy and also uses natural gas for onsite production of all electricity used at the facility, other than up to 0.19 kWh from the grid on a per gallon basis.