Fuels and Fuel Additives
Guidance on New Fuel Pathway Approval Process
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For the final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) rule, EPA assessed the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of multiple renewable fuel pathways. Assessment of lifecycle GHG emissions is necessary to determine which fuel pathways meet the GHG reduction thresholds under RFS2 for the four required renewable fuel categories. Classifications of approved fuel pathways are specified in Table 1 to 80.1426(f) of the RFS2 regulations.
Within the table, three critical components of a fuel pathway are listed: (1) fuel type, (2) feedstock, and (3) production process. Each specific combination of the three components, or fuel pathway, is assigned a RIN D code designating the renewable fuel category (renewable fuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, cellulosic biofuel) for which it qualifies. For example, biodiesel is assigned a RIN D Code of 4, which qualifies the fuel for compliance with the biomass-based diesel category.
In addition, EPA recognized during the rulemaking that there would new pathways requiring assessment in the future. Therefore, we provided 80.1416 in the RFS2 regulations, "Petition process for evaluation of new renewable fuels pathways." This mechanism allows parties to request that EPA conduct a lifecycle GHG assessment for a new fuel pathway and provide a determination of the D code for which the new pathway may be eligible.
What/How to Submit
See these general instructions on how to request EPA evaluation and determination of any new fuel pathway.
Note on Confidential Business Information (CBI): Each company's petition contains data that has been covered by a claim of business confidentiality (i.e., they are treated as CBI). EPA is required to treat this data in accordance with established Agency procedures for the handling of CBI, including the procedures described in 40 CFR Part 2, Subpart B.
Prior to petitioning EPA for a new pathway, renewable fuel producers and importers must first ensure they meet the other requirements of the RFS2 program. Upon receipt of a new fuel pathway evaluation request, EPA will evaluate the following preliminary requirements prior to proceeding with a lifecycle GHG analysis:
- Do the feedstock and fuel meet the RFS2 definitional requirements in 80.1401 for renewable biomass and renewable fuel?
- If so, does the pathway fit under an existing approved pathway, based on an interpretation of the regulatory definitions of the pathway?
If the fuel pathway does not fit within an existing pathway, then a lifecycle GHG analysis of the new pathway must be conducted in order to determine if the pathway meets the lifecycle GHG reduction threshold for one or more of the renewable fuel categories.
Two approval processes are then possible, depending upon the extent of lifecycle GHG modeling required. If the pathway is significantly different from existing approved pathways, then a full lifecycle GHG analysis must be conducted and, if the pathway meets one or more of the RFS2 compliance thresholds, approved through an official rulemaking process in order to provide for notice and comment. Examples of this type of pathway request include those with new feedstocks that require agricultural or feedstock production modeling.
If the request does not require a significant amount of new modeling beyond what was modeled under the RFS2 final rule, then the second approval process allows the Agency to make a determination without a new rulemaking process. An example of this type of pathway request is one with a different production process, but using previously approved feedstocks.
Under both of these approval processes, EPA will conduct the required lifecycle GHG analyses in a manner consistent with the definition of lifecycle emissions and threshold evaluation requirements under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA).
Upon determination of the type of approval process needed, EPA will notify the petitioner of the status of their request and an estimated timeframe for completion. In general, requests will first be completed for pathways that are closest to commercial production. Requests that require significant new modeling may take up to a year for a final determination, while those with a partial analysis may require less time.
In addition to an approved pathway request, fuel producers and importers must meet registration requirements in 80.1450, reporting requirements in 80.1451, and recordkeeping requirements in 80.1454 to participate in the RFS2 program.
Pending Pathway Assessments
The following pathway requests have been received and are under review:
|Marquis Energy-Wisconsin, LCC||Ethanol||Corn Starch||New (Proprietary)|
|11 Good Energy, Inc.||New (G2 Diesel)||Soy bean oil, Oil from annual cover crops, Algal oil, Biogenic waste oils, fats, greases, and Canola oil||Esterification|
|Arvens Technology, Inc.||Biodiesel||New (pennycress)||Transesterification|
|BP Biofuels North America, LLC||Cellulosic biofuel||New (energy cane)||Any|
|Cellulosic biofuel||New (napiergrass)||Any|
|Chemtex Group||Cellulosic biofuel||New (arundo donax)||Any|
|Conestoga Energy Partners, LLC, and Bonanza Bioenergy, LLC||Ethanol||New (grain sorghum)||New (proprietary)|
|Diamond Green Diesel, LLC||New (renewable naphtha)||Biogenic waste oils, fats, greases||Hydrotreating|
|DriveGreen, LLC||New (renewable electricity)||Landfill biogas||New (proprietary)|
|EdeniQ, Inc.||Ethanol||Corn kernel fiber||Any|
|E Energy Adams, LLC||Ethanol||Corn||New (proprietary)|
|Element Markets, LLC||CNG||Biogas from anaerobic digesters||Any|
|Emerald Biofuels LLC, Global Clean Energy Holdings, and UOP LLC||Renewable diesel, jet fuel, and naphtha||
|Emerald Biofuels LLC and Global Clean Energy Holdings||Biodiesel||Transesterification|
|Golden Renewable Energy, LLC||Renewable diesel||New (municipal sewage sludge),
Biogenic waste oils, fats, greases
|Green Vision Group||Ethanol||New (energy beets)||Fermentation|
|Growing Power Hairy Hill||Ethanol||New (wheat starch)||New (proprietary)|
|logen||Ethanol||New (grain sorghum)||New (proprietary)|
|Kior, Inc.||New (renewable gasoline blendstock)||Cellulosic biomass||New (proprietary)|
|Montana Advanced Biofuels, LLC||Ethanol||New (barley, wheat starch residue)||Fermentation|
|National Cottonseed Products Association||Biodiesel, renewable diesel||New (cottonseed oil)||Transesterification|
|National Sorghum Producers||Ethanol||New (biomass sorghum)||Any|
|Osage Bio Energy, LLC||Ethanol||New (barley)||Fermentation|
|Permeate Refining, LLC||Ethanol||Non-cellulosic separated food waste||Any|
|POP Diesel, Inc.||New (un-transesterified plant oil)||New (jatropha oil)||New (proprietary)|
|Rothsay Biodiesel||New (biodiesel)||Biogenic waste oils, fats, greases||Transesterification|
|Solazyme||Biodiesel, renewable diesel, jet fuel||Carbohydrate, Algae||Transesterification Hydrotreating|
|Sundrop Fuels, Inc.||New (renewable gasoline)||Cellulosic biomass||New (proprietary)|
|Terrabon, Inc.||New (renewable gasoline)||Cellulosic biomass||New (proprietary)|
|WM GTL, Inc.||Cellulosic Diesel||New (landfill biogas)||Any|
Please note: Only official petitions submitted in accordance with the requirements of Section 80.1416 of the RFS 2 regulations are included on this list, which will be updated on a regular basis, but is only current as of the date at the bottom of this page.
Once an official determination is made for a pathway request, it will be removed from this list and posted in the Completed Pathway Assessments section below.
In addition to the above pathway requests, we are also conducting pathway analyses of new feedstocks including palm oil, camelina, grain sorghum, sweet sorghum, and pulp wood.
Completed Pathway Assessments
The following pathway requests have been completed:
|Dakota Spirit AgEnergy, LLC||February 6, 2013||Approved (PDF) (19 pp, 3.8MB, February 2013)|
|Absolute Energy, LLC||February 6, 2013||Approved (PDF) (15 pp, 2.8MB, February 2013)|
|Western Plains||January 11, 2013||Approved (PDF) (16 pp, 5.0MB, January 2013)|
|Sabine Biofuels II, LLC||September 26, 2012||Approved (PDF) (11 pp, 430K, September 2012)|
|High Plains Bioenergy, LLC||February 17, 2012||Approved (PDF) (14 pp, 4.16MB, February 2012)|
|Viesel Fuel, LLC||September 29, 2011||Approved (PDF) (2 pp, 473K, September 2011)|
|Changing World Technologies, Inc.||June 10, 2011||Approved (PDF) (13 pp, 408K, June 2011)|
|Endicott Biofuels, LLC||April 6, 2011||Approved (PDF) (18 pp, 5.1MB, April 2011)|
|Global Energy Resources||April 6, 2011||Approved (PDF) (16 pp, 4.0MB, April 2011)|
|Triton Energy, LLC||December 10, 2010||Approved (PDF) (17 pp, 5.0MB, December 2010)|
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