EPA approves RFS fuel pathway for Kansas ethanol plant

According to the EPA, corn ethanol produced via Kansas Ethanol’s dry mill process achieves a GHG reduction of 45.6 percent, while its grain sorghum ethanol process will achieve a 50 percent reduction.
By Tom Bryan | October 01, 2021

The U.S. EPA recently approved fuel pathway petition submitted under the Renewable Fuel Standard on behalf of Kansas Ethanol LLC, an 80 MMgy fuel ethanol plant located in Lyons, Kansas. The pathway allows the facility to generate D5 advanced biofuel renewable identification numbers (RINs) for grain sorghum ethanol.

The advanced ethanol is produced through a dry mill process. According to the EPA, Kansas Ethanol uses the same dry mill process to produce ethanol from corn starch. That company can generate D6 renewable fuel RINs for its corn ethanol output.

The new pathway petition was submitted to the EPA through the Efficient Producer Petition Process. 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. Fuel that qualifies for D5 advanced biofuel RINs must be produced from feedstock other than corn starch and achieve a GHG reduction of at least 50 percent when compared to baseline petroleum fuels.

The pathway approval document published by EPA shows that corn ethanol produced via Kansas Ethanol’s dry mill process achieves a GHG reduction of 45.6 percent. A typical gas-fired dry mill ethanol plant achieves a 16.8 percent reduction. Grain sorghum ethanol produced at the plant achieves a 50 percent reduction. 

A full copy of EPA’s pathway approval document can be downloaded from the agency’s website. https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2021-08/kansas-ethanol-lyons-advd-ep3-deter-ltr-2021-08-24.pdf