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Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Results

This page provides a summary of the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) analyses that EPA has undertaken for the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The chart below shows fuel pathways EPA has evaluated and published numerical GHG results for, in kilograms of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions per million British thermal units of finished fuel (kgCO2e/mmBtu).  The * in the legend indicates that the barley and palm oil results were published as notices of data availability to solicit public comment, and have not undergone a final rulemaking.

For summary data on all of EPA’s lifecycle analyses for the RFS, including the pathways shown in the chart below, click to download the spreadsheet(862 K)  and the summary table showing more disaggregated results for select pathways.

 

Other Generally Applicable Approved Pathways

There are a number of fuel pathways that EPA has determined result in the production of qualifying renewable fuels based on their similarity to a previously approved pathway.  A full list of these pathways is shown below.

  • Pathways approved based on their similarities to Corn Stover pathways

    Corn Stover Table

    Feedstock Fuel Type Production Process Requirements Percent Reduction Satisfied
    Biogenic components of separated MSW Cellulosic diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Any process that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Biogenic components of separated MSW Renewable gasoline, Renewable gasoline blendstock Catalytic Pyrolysis and Upgrading, Gasification and Upgrading, Thermo-Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation and Upgrading, Direct Biological Conversion, Biological Conversion and Upgrading utilizing natural gas, biogas, and/or biomass as the only process energy sources providing that process used converts cellulosic biomass to fuel; any process utilizing biogas and/or biomass as the only process energy sources which converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Cellulosic components of annual cover crops Cellulosic diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Any process that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Cellulosic components of annual cover crops Renewable gasoline, Renewable gasoline blendstock Catalytic Pyrolysis and Upgrading, Gasification and Upgrading, Thermo-Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation and Upgrading, Direct Biological Conversion, Biological Conversion and Upgrading utilizing natural gas, biogas, and/or biomass as the only process energy sources providing that process used converts cellulosic biomass to fuel; any process utilizing biogas and/or biomass as the only process energy sources which converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Cellulosic components of separated food waste Cellulosic diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Any process that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Cellulosic components of separated food waste Renewable gasoline, Renewable gasoline blendstock Catalytic Pyrolysis and Upgrading, Gasification and Upgrading, Thermo-Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation and Upgrading, Direct Biological Conversion, Biological Conversion and Upgrading utilizing natural gas, biogas, and/or biomass as the only process energy sources providing that process used converts cellulosic biomass to fuel; any process utilizing biogas and/or biomass as the only process energy sources which converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Crop residue Cellulosic Diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Any process that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Crop residue Renewable gasoline, Renewable gasoline blendstock" Catalytic Pyrolysis and Upgrading, Gasification and Upgrading, Thermo-Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation and Upgrading, Direct Biological Conversion, Biological Conversion and Upgrading utilizing natural gas, biogas, and/or biomass as the only process energy sources providing that process used converts cellulosic biomass to fuel; any process utilizing biogas and/or biomass as the only process energy sources which converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Pre-commercial thinnings Cellulosic diesel, Cellulosic Diesel, Ethanol, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel, Jet Fuel Any process that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Pre-commercial thinnings Renewable gasoline, Renewable gasoline blendstock Catalytic Pyrolysis and Upgrading, Gasification and Upgrading, Thermo-Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation and Upgrading, Direct Biological Conversion, Biological Conversion and Upgrading utilizing natural gas, biogas, and/or biomass as the only process energy sources providing that process used converts cellulosic biomass to fuel; any process utilizing biogas and/or biomass as the only process energy sources which converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Separated yard waste Cellulosic diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Any process that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Separated yard waste Renewable gasoline, Renewable gasoline blendstock Catalytic Pyrolysis and Upgrading, Gasification and Upgrading, Thermo-Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation and Upgrading, Direct Biological Conversion, Biological Conversion and Upgrading utilizing natural gas, biogas, and/or biomass as the only process energy sources providing that process used converts cellulosic biomass to fuel; any process utilizing biogas and/or biomass as the only process energy sources which converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Slash Cellulosic diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Any process that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Slash Renewable gasoline, Renewable gasoline blendstock Catalytic Pyrolysis and Upgrading, Gasification and Upgrading, Thermo-Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation and Upgrading, Direct Biological Conversion, Biological Conversion and Upgrading utilizing natural gas, biogas, and/or biomass as the only process energy sources providing that process used converts cellulosic biomass to fuel; any process utilizing biogas and/or biomass as the only process energy sources which converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Tree residue Cellulosic Diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Any process that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Tree residue Renewable gasoline, Renewable gasoline blendstock Catalytic Pyrolysis and Upgrading, Gasification and Upgrading, Thermo-Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation and Upgrading, Direct Biological Conversion, Biological Conversion and Upgrading utilizing natural gas, biogas, and/or biomass as the only process energy sources providing that process used converts cellulosic biomass to fuel; any process utilizing biogas and/or biomass as the only process energy sources which converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
  • Pathways approved based on their similarities to Biogas from landfill pathways

    Biogas from Landfill Table

    Feedstock Fuel Type Production Process Requirements Percent Reduction Satisfied
    Biogas from agricultural digesters Renewable compressed natural gas, Renewable electricity, Renewable liquefied natural gas Any 60%
    Biogas from landfills Renewable compressed natural gas, Renewable electricity, Renewable liquefied natural gas Any 60%
    Biogas from municipal wastewater treatment facility digesters Renewable compressed natural gas, Renewable electricity, Renewable liquefied natural gas Any 60%
    Biogas from separated MSW digesters Renewable compressed natural gas, Renewable electricity, Renewable liquefied natural gas Any 60%
    Biogas from the cellulosic components of biomass processed in other waste digesters Renewable compressed natural gas, Renewable electricity, Renewable liquefied natural gas Any 60%
    Biogas from waste digesters Renewable compressed natural gas, Renewable electricity, Renewable liquefied natural gas Any 50%
  • Pathways approved based on their similarities to Switchgrass pathways

    Switchgrass Table

    Feedstock Fuel Type Production Process Requirements Percent Reduction Satisfied
    Arundo donax Cellulosic diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Any process that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Arundo donax Cellulosic diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Gasification and upgrading processes that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Energy cane Cellulosic diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Any process that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Energy cane Cellulosic diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Gasification and upgrading processes that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Miscanthus Cellulosic diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Any process that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Miscanthus Cellulosic diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Gasification and upgrading processes that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Pennisetum purpureum Cellulosic diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Any process that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
    Pennisetum purpureum Cellulosic diesel, Ethanol, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel Gasification and upgrading processes that converts cellulosic biomass to fuel. 60%
  • Pathways approved based on their similarities to Biogenic waste oils/fats/grease pathways

    Biogenic wastes Table

    Feedstock Fuel Type Production Process Requirements Percent Reduction Satisfied
    Non-cellulosic components of annual cover crops Heating Oil, Jet Fuel, Naphtha, Renewable diesel Any 50%
    Non-cellulosic components of separated food waste Heating Oil, Jet Fuel, Naphtha, Renewable diesel Any 50%
    Non-food grade corn oil Heating Oil, Jet Fuel, Naphtha, Renewable diesel One of the following: Trans-Esterification, Hydrotreating Excluding processes that co-process renewable biomass and petroleum. 50%
    Non-food grade corn oil Heating Oil, Jet Fuel, Naphtha, Renewable diesel One of the following: Trans-Esterification, Hydrotreating, Includes only processes that coprocess renewable biomass and petroleum. 50%
    Oil from annual covercrops Heating Oil, Jet Fuel, Naphtha, Renewable diesel One of the following: Trans-Esterification, Hydrotreating Excluding processes that co-process renewable biomass and petroleum. 50%
    Oil from annual covercrops Heating Oil, Jet Fuel, Naphtha, Renewable diesel One of the following: Trans-Esterification, Hydrotreating, Includes only processes that coprocess renewable biomass and petroleum. 50%
  • Pathways approved based on their similarities to Corn Starch pathways

    Corn Starch Table

    Feedstock Fuel Type Production Process Requirements Percent Reduction Satisfied
    Non-cellulosic components of annual cover crops Ethanol Any 50%
    Non-cellulosic components of separated food waste Ethanol Any 50%
    Starches from annual covercrops Ethanol Fermentation using natural gas, biomass, or biogas for process energy. 20%
    Starches from crop residue Ethanol Fermentation using natural gas, biomass, or biogas for process energy. 20%
  • Pathways approved based on their similarities to Soybean Oil pathways

    Soybean oil Table

    Feedstock Fuel Type Production Process Requirements Percent Reduction Satisfied
    Camelina sativa oil Biodiesel, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel, Renewable diesel One of the following: Trans-Esterification Hydrotreating Excluding processes that coprocess renewable biomass and petroleum. 50%
    Camelina sativa oil Biodiesel, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel, Renewable diesel One of the following: Trans-Esterification Hydrotreating Includes only processes that co-process renewable biomass and petroleum 50%
    Camelina sativa oil Biodiesel, Heating Oil, Jet Fuel, Renewable diesel Hydrotreating 50%