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Europe’s ethanol industry produces low-carbon fuel and high-protein feed

New statistics released by the European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePURE) show that its members produced 5.2 billion litres of ethanol and 4 million tonnes of high-protein animal feed in 2016. Furthermore, the ethanol produced shows high greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction compared to petrol, according to the new audited data.

Conventional biofuels that use feed-grade grains like maize also produce co-products used in the food and feed industries.

Using European feedstock, ePURE members produced 5.2 billion litres of ethanol and 5.5 million tonnes of co-products 2016.

According to a statement, some 78 percent of the total output was for fuel ethanol use – resulting in an average of more than 66 percent GHG savings compared to petrol in 2016. That level of GHG-reducing performance increased for the fifth year in a row as the sustainability of European renewable ethanol continues to improve.

The association, which represents 39 companies with 43 production plants in 16 EU member states, also noted that the production output of these companies in 2016 represented 82 percent of their 6.3 billion-litre installed capacity.

Renewable ethanol production from ePURE members also resulted in 5.5 million tonnes of co-products, of which 4 million tonnes was high-protein, GMO-free animal feed that helps offset the need for imports. 99.9 percent of the crops used to make European renewable ethanol were grown by European farmers.

Renewable ethanol remains an important source of low-carbon fuel and high-quality animal feed for the EU – and of income for Europe’s struggling farmers. But it is clear Europe could do a lot more if the right policies are in place. Across Europe, people want their governments to support sustainable biofuels like EU ethanol. As concerns grow about urban air quality and climate change, here is a homegrown solution that works in today’s vehicle fleet, said Emmanuel Desplechin, Secretary General, ePURE.

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