Ethanol and Advanced Biofuel Production
Pacific Ethanol owns eight ethanol biorefineries in the western and Midwestern United States with a combined operating capacity of 515 million gallons of ethanol per year. Our western plants are strategically located near our ethanol and feed customers, giving those plants logistical and transportation cost advantages. Our Midwestern plants take advantage of their proximity to feedstock supply sources and access to diverse national and international markets.
Pacific Ethanol is continually improving its state-of-the-art refining technology of its facilities, developing new ways to improve efficiencies, lowering the carbon content of the fuel and adapting new feedstocks to the production of transportation fuel.
Corn Alternatives and Advanced Biofuels
Feed corn is the primary feedstock for US ethanol producers. Advantages of location and plant design enable Pacific Ethanol to use a variety of other feedstocks in addition to corn at several of our production facilities.
Sorghum offers some important advantages as a feedstock alternative to corn. It requires less water to grow than corn; it can be grown on more marginal lands, and it uses less fertilizer than corn, which results in a lower carbon footprint. When processed using biogas and cogeneration, the EPA has designated sorghum-based ethanol as an "Advanced Biofuel." Pacific Ethanol is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities to source sorghum both domestically and internationally. Sorghum can help lower our raw material costs while reducing greenhouse gasses.
Waste Sugar Streams
In our western U.S. production facilities, we regularly process waste wine from local wineries for conversion to ethanol, which saves on feedstock costs and has a lower carbon footprint than processing with corn. There are other waste sugar streams that offer promise as ethanol feedstock as well.