Audit reveals EU renewable ethanol industry produced more food than fuel in 2022
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Audit reveals EU renewable ethanol industry produced more food than fuel in 2022

New data from ePURE members show significant production of food and feed along with sustainable biofuel, boosting strategic importance of domestic ethanol refineries

BRUSSELS, 6 September 2023 – European renewable ethanol association (ePURE) members produced more food and animal feed than fuel in 2022, according to audited data released today by the industry group.

ePURE members – representing 85% of EU installed capacity – produced 5.9 million tonnes of food and feed co-products including high-protein animal feed and 4.5 million tonnes of renewable ethanol last year, according to the statistics. Additional co-products included 1.1 million tonnes of captured biogenic CO2, another strategic domestic product that replaces fossil CO2 in beverage and greenhouse applications.

“The European renewable ethanol industry’s important contribution to EU food security sometimes goes overlooked or misrepresented in the debate over biofuels – which often focuses on 'food vs fuel' misinformation,” said ePURE Director General David Carpintero. “By creating vegetable protein for food and animal feed in addition to GHG-saving fuel ethanol and captured biogenic CO2, domestic ethanol production is a win-win for Europe’s energy independence and food security.”

All of the crops used in ePURE members’ biorefineries were grown by European farmers. 84.7% of the renewable ethanol produced was for fuel use. Of the remaining ethanol production, 7.4% was for industrial use including hand sanitiser, and 8% was for food and beverage use.

The audit also showed record-high GHG-saving performance of ePURE members’ ethanol – 78.4% on average compared to fossil petrol – making its use essential to transport decarbonisation by reducing emissions from the petrol and hybrid cars that will predominate on Europe’s roads for many years.

ePURE represents 42 member companies and associations with around 50 plants across the EU and UK. The statistics were compiled from ePURE members and certified by auditing firm Copartner.

Download the full ePURE statistics infographic here.

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