Corn Oil Biofuel Land Use Change Emission Impacts: Sharing Emission Savings Between Ethanol and Biodiesel

Jan 19, 2015
Recently, US corn ethanol producers, using a new technology, began extracting corn oil from their distillers’ dried grains. Corn oil can be and is used to produce biodiesel. We examine the extent to which this technology can help the US to achieve its biofuels targets with lower induced land use emissions. We conclude that the answer depends on how the reduced emissions are credited – to the ethanol, to biodiesel, or to the corn oil itself.
ƒƒ The new technology is introduced into the GTAP-BIO model, a computable general equilibrium model that has been frequently used for estimating biofuel-policy-induced land use changes. Then induced land use emissions due to ethanol and biodiesel are calculated from the estimated land use changes with and without using the new technology.
ƒƒ The allocation method chosen for corn oil can have important impacts on the estimated land use change emissions. Generally, the impacts on corn ethanol are similar regardless of the approach taken, but soy biodiesel can vary significantly according to the approach taken. For the complete report click here.