Japan to accept US corn ethanol

By Tim Albrecht | December 19, 2017

Japan is likely to finalize a determination in January 2018 that will allow the use of U.S. ethanol in the production of bio-ethyl tert-butyl ether. The determination comes after several committee meetings to assess how ethanol would meet Japan’s greenhouse gas emission’s requirement of 50 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction.

The final decision will be followed by a period of public comment, after which implementation of the new regulation can occur as early as April of next year.

Japan’s Ministry of Trade, Economy and Industry began the assessment of the country’s biofuels policy from 2018 to 2022. METI formed an expert committee to discuss the future of biofuel introduction in Japan in March 2016. In 2017, the committee focused on GHG emission values of Brazilian and U.S. corn ethanol and gasoline.

In November, the committee discussed what methods can be put in place to ensure the sustainability of ethanol. For U.S. ethanol, the committee proposed the use of International Sustainability and Certification certificates and renewable identification numbers (RINs) to ensure traceability. The committee noted that the RIN can be used to trace ethanol back to ethanol plants.