New audited data from the European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePURE), released on September 6, 2023, shows that its members produced more food and animal feed than fuel in 2022. Furthermore, the average certified greenhouse gas (GHG) emission savings of renewable ethanol against fossil fuel continues to increase, reaching 78.4 percent.
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ePURE represents 42 member companies and associations with around 50 plants across the EU and UK representing 85 percent of EU installed capacity.
Representing 85 percent of EU installed capacity – ePURE members produced 5.9 million tonnes of food and feed co-products including high-protein animal feed and 4.5 million tonnes of renewable ethanol in 2022 while operating at 79.8 percent of installed capacity, according to the statistics, which were compiled from ePURE members and certified by the auditing firm Copartner.
Of the 5.71 billion litres of ethanol produced in 2022, fuel accounted for 84.7 percent of the use, food, and beverages 8 percent while industrial applications including hand sanitizer accounted for the balance.
Additional co-products included 1.1 million tonnes of captured biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2), another strategic domestic product that replaces fossil CO2 in beverage and greenhouse applications.
All of the crops used in ePURE members’ biorefineries were grown by European farmers.
The audit also showed record-high greenhouse gas (GHG) saving performance of ePURE members’ ethanol – 78.4 percent on average compared to fossil petrol – making its use essential to transport decarbonization by reducing emissions from the gasoline and hybrid cars that will predominate on Europe’s roads for many years.
The European renewable ethanol industry’s important contribution to EU food security sometimes goes overlooked or misrepresented in the debate over biofuels – which often focuses on ‘food vs fuel’ misinformation. By creating vegetable protein for food and animal feed in addition to GHG-saving fuel ethanol and captured biogenic CO2, domestic ethanol production is a win-win for Europe’s energy independence and food security, said David Carpintero, Director-General at ePURE.