Expert: An ethanol plant is not just about ethanol

This article is part of our special report Is EU biofuel policy realistic enough?.

EU policymakers should recognise the multidimensional added value of ethanol plants, as they don’t produce only ethanol for fuel use but also proteins that are crucial for European agriculture, an expert told EURACTIV.com.

“An ethanol plant should be called biorefinery as it produces protein as a concentrate and ethanol as a by-product,” said Pablo Vercruysse, Plant Manager at Alco Bio Fuel in Ghent.

The European renewable ethanol association (ePURE) says that in 2017 its members produced 5.84 million litres of ethanol, 81% of which was for fuel use, with an average of 70% GHG savings compared to fossil fuel.

But it also co-produced 5.71 million tonnes of co-products, of which 4.32 million tonnes was high-protein, GMO-free animal feed.

EU protein strategy: Commission working against Europe’s interest?

The European Commission’s recent report on the future of EU protein strategy is a “missed opportunity” as it ignores domestic biofuels production, the EU ethanol industry has said.

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