EPA opens comment period on carinata oil GHG analysis

By Erin Voegele | April 28, 2015

The U.S. EPA is accepting comments on its analysis of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributed to the production and transport of Brassica carinata oil feedstock for the use in making biofuels, such as biodiesel, renewable diesel and jet fuel.

The analysis may be used in the future to determine whether biofuels produced from carinata oil meet the necessary GHG reductions required for qualification under the renewable fuel standard (RFS). The EPA said its notice indicates biofuels produced from the feedstock could qualify as advanced biofuel if typical fuel production process technology conditions are used.

Within a notice published in the Federal Register, the EPA explains that the carinata lifecycle analysis was completed in response to a petition submitted by Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. According to the agency, to complete the analysis, it used a similar approach to the used for camelina oil in a rule published in March 2013. In that rulemaking, the EPA determined that several renewable fuel pathways using camelina oil feedstock meet the required 50 percent lifecycle GHG reduction threshold under the RFS for biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel because the GHG emissions performance of camelina-based fuels is at least as good as that modeled for fuels made from soybean oil. In the carinata notice, the EPA said it believes new agricultural sector modeling is not needed to evaluate the GHG impacts of carinata oil, in part because the similarities of carinata oil to soybean oil and camelina oil, and because carinata oil is not expected to have significant land use change impacts.

The EPA is accepting public comments on the analysis through May 26. Comments can be submitted online on www.reglations.gov under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0093, or by email, mail or hand delivery. Additional information on the analysis and how to submit comments is available on the Federal Register website.