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ACE board president presents at Biofuels Financial Conference

Sioux Falls, SD (September 28, 2017) –The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Board President Ron Alverson presented today at the 13th annual Biofuels Financial Conference hosted by Christianson PLLP Sept. 27-28 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Alverson was on a panel which discussed potential options for ethanol plant expansion and diversification including foreign markets, processing corn kernel fiber, and lowering carbon intensity.

Alverson’s presentation focused on corn ethanol’s ability to lower carbon intensity by walking through the current state of science as it relates to the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of corn based ethanol. Alverson shared ways in which the current lifecycle GHG modeling needs updating, so it can be accurately used to inform low carbon policy decisions and to recognize the climate benefits from further expansion of corn ethanol production and use in the U.S. beyond volumes called for in the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“Since biofuel lifecycle GHG modeling was first developed by the U.S. Department of Energy more than 30 years ago, corn production and ethanol manufacture have experienced significant efficiency improvements that have greatly reduced lifecycle GHGs of corn starch ethanol,” Alverson said.  “If lifecycle GHG accounting and modeling is expected to achieve its desired result, the modeling must reflect the latest science available.”

His presentation summarized that corn grain ethanol carbon intensity has been reduced significantly over the past two decades, carbon intensity reductions are expected to continue, and biofuel carbon intensity analysis must include soil carbon accounting if goals of the GHG reduction programs are to be achieved.

“One of the most direct ways to capitalize on agriculture's ability to mitigate GHG emissions is to properly acknowledge the role that corn production plays in enhancing soil carbon stock maintenance and sequestration in the U.S.,” Alverson said. “Since the direct effects on soil carbon stocks of each biofuel feedstock crop can have a very large impact on carbon intensity, it is crucial that this accounting is included in the modeling.”

“Stakeholders and policy makers must be made aware of these facts,” Alverson added. “The trend is biofuel’s friend — petroleum based transportation fuel lifecycle GHGs continue to rise and biofuel lifecycle GHGs continue to improve.” 

John Christianson, ACE Board Member and Managing Partner of Christianson PLLP, extended his thanks on behalf of everyone at Christianson to all who attended the 13th Annual Biofuels Financial Conference.

“The focus of our panels, staffed with industry experts, is our “Biofuelture,” Christianson said. “We hope you enjoyed the conference as much as we enjoyed having you here.”  

Ron Alverson's presentation can be access here.

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