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ACE Commends Argonne for 2020 Updates to GREET Model including new Feedstock Carbon Intensity Calculator

Sioux Falls, SD (October 9, 2020) – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) today expressed its appreciation toward U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory scientists for updates to the Greenhouse gas and Regulated Emissions and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model, which is widely recognized as the gold-standard tool used to audit the energy and environmental effects of transportation fuels such as ethanol and gasoline.

Notably, the 2020 updates include a new Feedstock Carbon Intensity Calculator to take inventory on how corn yields, fertilizer use, and agronomic practices on individual farms influence the lifecycle carbon intensity of ethanol and a new lookup table to estimate rates of soil carbon sequestration from different farming practices.

“ACE would like to thank Dr. Michael Wang and his team at Argonne for making updates to the GREET model which will help farmers, ethanol producers, and government agencies better understand how farming practices play a pivotal role in reducing the overall carbon intensity of corn ethanol,” said Brian Jennings, ACE CEO. “Given the growing support for new clean fuel markets at the state and federal level, particularly among Midwestern states, these timely updates to the GREET model should help us advocate for policies that give credit to farmers for practices which further reduce corn ethanol’s carbon footprint."

In 2018, ACE published the White Paper “The Case for Properly Valuing the Low Carbon Benefits of Corn Ethanol” to shine a light on the need for these kind of updates to the GREET model. Earlier this year, ACE also helped lead a diverse group of stakeholders to develop a framework encouraging new low carbon fuel markets in the Midwest, including a recommendation that the latest GREET model be used to conduct lifecycle assessments.

“I commend Argonne’s outstanding work to update the best model in the world for assessing the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of transportation fuels,” said Ron Alverson, ACE board member and main author of the 2018 White Paper. “The new Feedstock Carbon Intensity Calculator will be extremely helpful in evaluating the effect farming practices have on ethanol’s GHG emissions because it will account for corn yield and energy, fertilizer, and chemical use factors for individual farms instead of relying on default values. Also, Argonne has taken a step in the right direction by enabling GREET to assign a soil carbon credit for conservation tillage of corn. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Dr. Wang and the DoE scientists to incorporate additional updates to GREET in the future, specifically regarding nitrous oxide emissions, corn transportation distances, energy use factors for corn ethanol facilities, and adopting all the factors for 2020 from their time series table. We will also try to build upon the conservative estimate for soil carbon sequestration due to the large effect it can have on overall corn ethanol GHG emissions.”

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