Our founding partnership with Summit Carbon Solutions lays the groundwork for a CO2 network connecting dozens of biofuel producers to a large-scale carbon sequestration system capable of carrying 10 million tons of compressed CO2 annually to North Dakota for geologic storage. Twelve million acres of U.S. forest sequester the same amount of carbon in one year, according to the U.S. EPA. Green Plains’ commitment to this project will reduce the carbon intensity of the biofuel, high-protein feed ingredients and renewable corn oil we produce. This groundbreaking project puts us on a path toward a net-zero future.
Development of a transformational carbon capture platform
Since distilling our first gallon of renewable biofuel, Green Plains has focused on gaining efficiencies and reducing carbon intensity. According to the latest data, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of conventional corn-based ethanol are 46% lower than that of gasoline. These carbon reductions will continue to improve as the technology at our biorefineries advances and our farmer customers implement additional sustainable farming practices.
Advancing carbon capture and sequestration technology at scale
But our industry must go further. Striving for net carbon neutrality for our biofuel, high protein feed ingredients, renewable corn oil and other products requires technological upgrades. Carbon capture and sequestration will be key. CCS captures CO2 and safely stores it long-term beneath the earth’s surface. Scientists and politicians on both sides of the aisle agree that additional investment in this cutting-edge technology is crucial to combatting climate change. CCS aligns with our commitment to transform our platform to meet current and future needs, and our existing biorefineries are ideally situated to deploy it.
Transforming to support a more sustainable future
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 pure 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 the technology to capture and compress that pure CO2 stream and safely sequestering it makes our biorefineries the vanguard in the battle against climate change.
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