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New data confirm European ethanol’s vital role in EU emissions-reduction, food security

Latest statistics from European renewable ethanol association members show record-high greenhouse-gas reduction compared to petrol, major domestic production of animal feed

BRUSSELS, 5 September 2019 – European renewable ethanol association (ePURE) members produced 5.81 billion litres of ethanol and 5.55 million tonnes of beneficial co-products in 2018, according to new audited data released today by the industry group. The figures confirm the importance of ethanol biorefineries to the EU’s efforts to fight climate change and offset its animal-feed protein deficit.

Of the total ethanol output in 2018, 82% was for fuel use, with an average of more than 71% greenhouse-gas savings compared to petrol in 2018. Ethanol’s GHG-reducing performance increased for the seventh year in a row as the sustainability of European renewable ethanol continues to improve annually. Of the rest of the ethanol production in 2018, 9% was for industrial use and 9% for food and beverages.

Along with the fuel, ePURE members’ ethanol refineries also produced 5.55 million tonnes of co-products, including 4.20 million tonnes of GM0-free animal feed and 0.77 million tonnes of captured CO2.

More than 99% of the feedstock used to produce renewable ethanol by ePURE members – including cereals, sugars, wastes and residues – was grown or sourced in Europe.

“The emissions-reduction performance of EU ethanol continues to improve at a time when transport decarbonisation is of critical importance,” said Emmanuel Desplechin, Secretary-General of ePURE. “As Europe’s leaders work to respond to voters’ concerns about climate change and EU Member States struggle to meet their renewables targets, they should not overlook a homegrown solution that delivers results right now. Ethanol reduces emissions from today’s car fleet and will be important for decarbonising the vehicles that what will continue to be prevalent on Europe’s roads for a long time.”

ePURE represents 35 members (including 19 producers), with around 50 plants in 16 EU Member States. With 6.51 billion litres of production capacities in 2018, these companies accounted for 73% of the EU’s installed production capacity.

For more statistics from 2018, see our new infographic.

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