On February 1, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) hosted the Gen-1 Ethanol Opportunities: Improving Life Cycle GHG Benefits of Existing Biofuel Production Virtual Workshop. The workshop was designed to gather stakeholder input to assess the potential of current and developing technologies to meet BETO goals with regards to expanding the climate and economic benefits of the U.S. biofuels industry in the near- and long-term.

The United States has over 200 fuel ethanol plants, which have supported 68,600 jobs as recently as 2019—many in rural areas. Existing technologies have the potential to make significant improvements in the reduction of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of fuel ethanol from approximately 40% today to over 70% as compared to a petroleum baseline.

This workshop discussed strategies within existing biofuels facilities, including but not limited to:

  • Fuel switching to renewable process heat and power (e.g., renewable natural gas, or biomass)
  • New productivity or conversion efficiency measures
  • Carbon capture technology
  • Process technology for higher value co-products or conversion of ethanol to sustainable aviation fuel.

If these technologies and practices were deployed across the existing U.S. industry, it could reduce GHG emissions by over 42.7 million metric tons (CO2-eq) per year—or approximately 2% of total U.S. transportation emissions. BETO brought together industry experts, researchers, and other interested parties to discuss how the ethanol industry can be a part of the U.S. carbon strategy.


Download the agenda.


Access the workshop presentations.

Contact Us

Please direct questions regarding this workshop to Marykate O’Brien (Marykate.O’ or