Carbon Capture and Sequestration

A crucial tool in mitigating the climate crisis.

Working together toward a net-zero carbon future

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) is a key tactic in further decarbonizing biorefineries by capturing the pure stream of biogenic carbon dioxide from fermentation. Our partnerships on existing CCS projects have the potential to cut carbon intensity scores at our participating plants nearly in half, placing us firmly on a path toward a net-zero future. CCS aligns with the transformation of our platform to meet current and future needs, and our biorefineries are ideally situated to deploy it.

Our founding partnership with Summit Carbon Solutions, for example, lays the groundwork for a CO2 network connecting dozens of biofuel producers to a large-scale CCS system capable of carrying over 10 million tons of compressed CO2 annually to North Dakota for safe, long-term geologic storage. This is equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by 12 million acres of U.S. forests in one year, according to the U.S. EPA.

In addition to current projects under development with multiple partners, we are exploring carbon utilization as well as direct injection options at our biorefineries that possess the geology to support the technology.

A map showing Green Plains locations and CCS stats

Advancing carbon capture and sequestration technology at scale

Notably, according to the latest data, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of conventional corn-based ethanol are already 46% lower than that of gasoline.

The corn plant is one of nature’s most abundant and efficient solar panels. It absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere while it grows, using the sun’s power to produce a starchy corn kernel while releasing oxygen. Our biorefinery platform’s fermentation process converts that starch into ethanol and nearly pure biogenic CO2, which is released back into the atmosphere to be absorbed again each year by the Midwest’s millions of acres of corn fields. Looking forward, harnessing CCS technology to capture and compress that CO2 stream and safely sequestering it places our biorefineries in the vanguard in the battle against climate change.

Overhead view of carbon capture

Green Plains is a global leader in leveraging innovative technologies to make essential ingredients the world needs.

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