On average, corn ethanol reduces transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by 21% over gasoline. In addition, new process technologies allow producers to extract more out of each bushel of corn in the form of valuable co-products. This increase in resource efficiency leads to the reduction of waste and less impact to the environment. The use of enzymes drives innovation in the bioethanol industry with advanced enzymatic and yeast solutions that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide alternatives to petroleum based fuel.
Co-products from biorefining also create value. For example, today’s starch-based biorefineries produce protein-rich animal feed for the livestock sector. Corn ethanol plants also produce corn oil that can be used in animal feed or to produce biodiesel. Side streams from cellulosic biorefineries include off-gas or flue gas from the thermochemical process, or lignin and biogas from the biochemical process – all of which can be used flexibly for heat and power in the integrated energy matrix. In the case of enzyme based cellulosic biorefineries, there is sufficient lignin and biogas to both satisfy the energy demand of the biorefinery itself and be used as storable feedstock for grid stabilization. Additionally, from a grain optimization standpoint, the value of these co-products is clear: the more total use of a resource, the greater the impact on production efficiencies, not to mention conservation efforts.
For more information view the links below:
Biofuels and the sustainability challenge: A global assessment of sustainability issues, trends and policies for biofuels and related feedstocks (PDF)