Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Reversing Carbon Emissions

Carbon capture and sequestration is the process of collecting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or industrial sources and returning it to underground geological formations. California’s Central Valley is a prime area for subsurface carbon storage. The area has multiple alternating layers of shale and sands. The shale creates an impermeable seal over sand layers into which CO2 can be injected. The two Aemetis’ facilities in California are located over rock layers that are approximately 7,000 feet and 8,000 feet underground. Between the rock layers is a saline water formation which allows for the injection of approximately one million metric tons per year at each location for the next 20 years.

Ethanol generation was identified by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as one of the most promising industrial processes for carbon capture. Aemetis benefits from being located above prime geology for sequestration. Proximity to Bay Area refineries provides further advantages to our location, allowing Aemetis to sequester 400,000 metric tons/year of CO2 from our own operations and an additional two million metric tons/year from third-party fuel producers in the area.

Aemetis Riverbank Facility

Why Carbon Capture?

Carbon dioxide is one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Since the 1750’s, humans have released nearly more than 2.3 trillion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere from a variety of sources, including petroleum consumption, cement production and industrial processes. In 2019 alone the United States emitted 6,558 million metric tons of CO2, with transportation fuels accounting for nearly 1,700 Million metric tons/year. While renewable fuels and energy efficiency efforts can slow emissions rates, only methods that capture atmospheric CO2 and prevent it from being re-emitted can have any hope of reversing climate change trends.

In addition to our efforts to sequester carbon dioxide underground, Aemetis uses plants to capture CO2 from the atmosphere via photosynthesis. A portion of this plant matter is converted to renewable vehicle fuels, with 200,000 tons/year of CO2 produced as a byproduct at each of our facilities. This CO2 will be injected more than a mile underground, where it is predicted to remain for centuries, effectively reducing atmospheric CO2 levels. The remaining CO2 to be injected will come from California’s refineries, lowering future emissions from the production of motor vehicle fuels.

Carbon Capture By The Numbers


Planned Start Year

2 million

Metric tons of CO2 per year

1 million

Cars off the road (carbon equivalent)

400,000 MT

Annually from biogas and biofuels plant operations

1.6 Million

MT annually of carbon sequestration using CO2 supplied by other fuel producers in California

$500 million

In potential annual revenues

Carbon Capture News