EPA approves several efficient producer pathways

By Tim Albrecht | December 12, 2017

The U.S. EPA has approved efficient producer pathways from several U.S. ethanol plants. They include Absolute Energy LLC, in Saint Ansgar, Iowa; Big River Resources Galva LLC, in Galva, Illinois; Big River United Energy LLC, in Dyersville, Iowa. The agency also approved a fuel pathway for Dynamic Recycling LLC in Bristol, Tennessee.  

Ethanol plants that have approved efficient producer pathways are able to generate RINs for production volumes above those grandfathered under current RFS regulations. When the RFS was established in its current form, the rulemaking grandfathered in the production volume of existing corn ethanol plants. To qualify for compliance with the RFS program, any new production above the grandfathered gallons must meet a 20 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction threshold when compared to the program’s gasoline baseline. The efficient producer pathway petition process is designed to aid ethanol plants in gaining pathway approval for expanded production above those grandfathered volumes. 

The pathways for Absolute Energy, Big River Resources Galva, and Big River United Energy generate RINs for nongrandfathered ethanol, through dry mill processes u­­­sing corn starch as feedstock. The data submitted by Absolute Energy shows its 125 MMgy plant achieves a 25.9 percent GHG reduction, Big River Resources Galva’s 110 MMgy plant achieves a 20.7 percent reduction, and Big River United Energy’s 110 MMgy plant achieves a 22.6 percent reduction.

Dynamic Recycling produces ethanol from industrial waste through a recycling process that includes filtration, distillation and dehydration, using electricity and natural gas as energy sources. Data submitted by Dynamic Recycling shows the Bristol plant achieves an 84.3 percent GHG reduction.