Low Carbon Ethanol

We produce a low-carbon ethanol fuel alternative from corn and biomass.

Our low-carbon ethanol is a clean-burning, high octane, renewable fuel produced from abundant agricultural and cellulosic feedstocks. Ethanol is used as an effective octane-boosting fuel additive or high-blend fuel. Ethanol is the only low-carbon alternative to gasoline available today. All comparisons to gasoline demonstrate a clear reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with ethanol. Aemetis produces approximately 65 million gallons per year of this renewable clean-burning transportation fuel at its Keyes, California production facility.

Ethanol biorefineries like Aemetis also produce valuable co-products, such as wet distillers grains (WDG), and sell this high-protein animal feed to dairies and cattle feedlots. In addition, Aemetis extracts distillers corn oil (DCO) during the production process, which is then sold as animal feed or used in the production of low carbon fuels such as biodiesel or jet fuel.  On an annual basis, the Aemetis low-carbon ethanol biofacility produces over 420,000 tons of WDG and over 5,200 tons of DCO.

Our low-carbon ethanol biofacility leads to the elimination of petroleum-based energy sources like natural gas by converting production systems to renewable electricity. Once fully implemented, the Aemetis Keyes plant expects to reduce natural gas use by 85%. We applied several technologies to help reduce our carbon footprint, including:

  • Mechanical Vapor Recompression (MVR) replaces the production of steam heat with natural gas to renewable energy.
  • Mitsubishi’s ZEBREX(C)  membrane dehydration system that replaces natural gas use with electricity
  • High-efficiency heat exchangers
  • A 1.5 MW solar microgrid with battery storage
  • Using the biogas from surrounding dairies as process energy to replace petroleum natural gas

These practices will nearly eliminate our use of petroleum natural gas with renewable electricity for process energy, creating $8 million of projected EBITDA per year. The reduced carbon intensity under LCFS generates $15 million of projected EBITDA.

Ethanol production facility in Keyes, CA

Ethanol FAQs

  • Industry debunks ethanol myths

    CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — Renewable fuel boosters did some “myth busting” and discussed ethanol’s role in gasoline prices during a June 17 National [...]

  • Urban Air Initiative study shows ethanol blends reduce PM emissions

    In Washington, new study finds that ethanol blends reduce particulate matter (PM) coming out of the tailpipe, which in turn reduces overall [...]

  • E15 FACT CHECK: Separating Fact from Fiction on the E15 Emergency Waiver

    On April 12, President Biden announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon issue a nationwide emergency waiver to allow [...]

  • Analysis Shows Corn Ethanol’s Energy Balance Is Strongly Positive and Continues to Improve

    Today’s corn ethanol now provides nearly three times the energy used to produce it, according to a new analysis by the Renewable [...]


Why Ethanol?

Ethanol is mixed with gasoline in different quantities. E10 is a blend of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline. It is approved for use by every major automaker globally and currently comprises about 10% of the US fuel supply (15.78 billion gallons in 2019). E15 is a blend of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. The United States Environmental Protection Agency approved the blend of light-duty motor vehicles (cars) model 2001 and newer. E85 is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline and is used in Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs).

We produce ethanol from field corn or biomass; therefore, it’s renewable. Additionally, farmers use the byproducts from the ethanol manufacturing process as animal feed. We feed approximately 100,000 cows at 80 dairies across the Central Valley with wet distillers grains, a by-product of the ethanol process.


Ethanol By The Numbers