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  • Modeling the Economics of Ethanol Production Coupled with Carbon Capture and Storage | Analyst Note | January 2024
Sustainable Fuels
CA LCFS
Modeling the Economics of Ethanol Production Coupled with Carbon Capture and Storage | Analyst Note | January 2024
Friday, 26th January 2024

In this analyst note we establish a modeling framework and evaluate the viability of technologically ready ethanol production coupled to capture in the United States. The analysis considers different units and activities of operation, location, and lifecycle carbon emission assessment to find out the key bottlenecks in the ethanol-ccs value chain. The modeling framework establishes a methodology to evaluate various least cost source-sink relationships and aggregation opportunities for carbon flow across a value chain. The framework has been simulated for an ethanol production facility with a production capacity of 40.8 million gallons per year. Moreover, the impact of capacity utilization factor and carbon capture factor on revenue and margin generation has been assessed. The model considers more than 45 configurable variables. Production of ethanol releases CO2 concomitantly of which 90% could be captured and compressed for pipeline transport. The total cost of capture and storage of CO2 coming out of ethanol production isa under $31/MTCO2. A sequestration credit along with California LCFS and RFS credits provides an opportunity to permanently sequester CO2 coming out of ethanol production.

This framework can be used to analyze: a) growth of carbon capture, transport, and sequestration for any industrial sector; b) economics of conventional and advanced biofuels when integrated to upcoming carbon removal technologies; c) development of carbon-negative fuels; d) the interaction of carbon capture polices on the mandates of low-carbon fuel policies across the United States.

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cCarbon has mapped both the demand as well as supply of SAF to size the market. The research indicates that global SAF consumption in 2022 (as per offtake agreements) stood at 494 million litres.
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