Trestle Energy LLC, a low carbon fuel company working with ethanol producers across the Midwest, and Larksen LLC, a biomass company providing sustainably sourced agricultural residues to Midwestern power plants, will collaborate to commercialize a new Fuel Pathway Management Platform. The platform is designed to enable ethanol producers to reduce their fuel carbon intensity substantially and to facilitate cost-effective use of biomass fuel pellets at existing power plants.
Trestle and Larksen’s integrated approach furthers ethanol producers’ ability to scale up production of low carbon biofuels and allows existing power plants to generate electricity with the cost and reliability of coal and with carbon emissions similar to wind. This will expand supplies of dispatchable, renewable energy and substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions from domestic energy supplies. Delivering these benefits at existing energy facilities while building feedstock supplies for emerging cellulosic industries will help smooth the energy sector’s transition to a low carbon economy, the partners said.
The partnership charts a cost-effective path for American energy companies to comply with ambitious climate and energy programs, such as California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS), thereby enabling greater access to premium regulated markets.
In January, California’s Air Resources Board officially approved Trestle’s ethanol production process under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The approved process is a corn ethanol pathway with residue co-products (CERC) of less than 50% of available agricultural residues. In the feedstock supply system, the utilization of corn stover agricultural residues reduces biofuel carbon intensity by removing biomass from farm fields and processing it into biofuel co-products used at power plants to generate electricity.
Trestle’s CERC pathway incorporates co-products to directly reduce biogenic emissions and displace fossil fuel combustion at power plants. Trestle worked with Golden Grain Energy—a dry mill corn ethanol plant located in Mason city, Iowa—to demonstrate a carbon intensity reduction by utilizing the proprietary residue co-product supply system.