California sugarcane ethanol pathway certified by CARB

By California Ethanol & Power LLC | January 07, 2016

California Ethanol & Power LLC (CE+P) recently announced the certification of the carbon intensity (CI) pathway for its anticipated sugarcane and sweet sorghum ethanol by the California’s Air Resources Board.

CE+P’s sugarcane ethanol will have a CI of 54.47, and sweet sorghum ethanol will have a CI of 39.0, which will provide CE+P a blended average CI of approximately 49. In January 2016, CARB’s re-adopted model will improve CE+P’s sugarcane ethanol to approximately 26.23, and it will revise the sweet sorghum to approximately 40.66, which will bring the blended CI to approximately 32. View CARB’s summary here.

The low carbon intensity fuel CE+P intends to produce will contribute to the state’s goals of meeting the requirements under California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. “The newly revised CI pathway for sugarcane ethanol is significant as it establishes CE+P’s ethanol as one of the fuels with the lowest carbon intensity,” stated CE+P President and CEO Dave Rubenstein. “Once we are in production and provide operational data, we are eligible to claim credits under the LCFS due to our low carbon intensity (CI) relative to petroleum-based gasoline.”

In its original 2009 LCFS regulation, CARB provided default indirect land use change (ILUC) impact values calculated using the Global Trade Analysis Product (GTAP) model, an agricultural economic model developed by Purdue University. Since that time, CARB has had working groups examining the issue of ILUC to ensure that the default numbers used are as accurate as possible. CARB re-adopted the LCFS in September of 2015, and the updated version of the LCFS regulation will become effective in January of 2016, at which time they will apply ILUC default values to all LCFS pathways.