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 62 million gallons per year of this renewable clean-burning transportation fuel at its Keyes, California production facility.

Aemetis also produces valuable co-products such as wet distillers grains (WDG), and distillers corn oil (DCO). We sell these high-protein animal feeds to nearby dairies, cattle feedlots. We supply WDG feed for approximately 100,000 cows at 80 dairies within 50 miles of our Keyes facility. In turn, many of these dairies capture manure and biogas in partnership with Aemetis’ Biogas. Additionally, Aemetis extracts DCO in the ethanol 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 biorefinery produces over 420,000 tons of WDG and over 5,200 tons of DCO.

Our low-carbon ethanol biorefinery is also in the process of implementing multiple energy efficiency projects that will significantly reduce petroleum-based energy sources like natural gas by converting our existing production systems to renewable electricity. Once fully implemented, the Aemetis Keyes plant expects to apply advanced technologies to reduce natural gas use by 85%. We have added or are constructing several projects to help reduce our carbon footprint, including:

  • Mitsubishi’s ZEBREX© membrane dehydration system that replaces natural gas use with electricity. Now online, the Zebrex© system has reduced plant natural gas use by approximately 20%.
  • Mechanical Vapor Recompression (MVR) replaces the production of steam heat with natural gas to renewable energy. Once online (est. 2023), the MVR system will reduce natural gas use by approximately 65%.
  • A 1.9 MW 100% renewable solar microgrid with battery storage.
  • A 1.5 MW solar microgrid with battery storage
  • High-efficiency heat exchangers reducing natural gas use.

These energy efficiency projects will nearly eliminate our use of petroleum natural gas, which is replaced with renewable electricity for process energy, significantly reducing our GHG footprint. These savings will create over $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

Low Carbon Ethanol


Aemetis enters into lease agreement with Cilion for the 65 MGPY ethanol facility in Keyes, CA. Invested $8 million in plant upgrades to optimize production.


Aemetis begins continuous production of fuel ethanol, wet distillers grains, and distillers corn oil at the Keyes facility.


Processed 60 million pounds of milo imported from Argentina.


Aemetis signs definitive agreement with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation to install patented Zebrex Dehydration system to reduce fossil fuel energy use and lower CI of biofuel.


Awarded $14 Million in energy efficiency grants for solar microgrid and mechanical vapor recompression (MVR).


Begins shipping alcohol for hand sanitizer products for COVID-19 pandemic.


Aemetis partners with Messer Gas to convert more than 150,000 annual tons of CO2 gas from the Keyes ethanol facility into liquified CO2 for food and beverage production.


Aemetis signs purchase and EPC agreement with TotalEnergies for an integrated solar microgrid with battery energy storage system to produce 1.9MW of zero carbon intensity electricity at the Keyes ethanol facility.


Aemetis fully commissions Zebrex Dehydration system and achieves 20% reduction in ethanol plant natural gas use.


Within the first 11 years of operations, Aemetis has reduced 12.9 million metric tons of CO2 from the low-carbon ethanol produced vs. gasoline that would have been consumed.* During the last decade, Aemetis has also provided over 8 billion pounds of animal feed (wet distillers grains) and over 100 million pounds of distillers corn oil for biodiesel production.

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).

Ethanol By The Numbers


Started producing ethanol

62 Million

Average gallons produced annually