After 30 days, the EPA closed public comment last week on approval of grain sorghum as an advanced biofuel under the Renewable Fuels Standard. A final decision on its status has yet to be made by the EPA.
The comment period opened in late May and has been welcomed by sorghum producers. National Farmer's Union President Roger Johnson was also supportive of sorghum's potential as an advanced biofuel.
“U.S. farmers can have a tremendous positive impact on the environment by producing advanced biofuel from grain sorghum,” said Johnson. “EPA’s analysis indicates that utilizing different process energy technology options reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas impacts of ethanol produced from grain sorghum by 53% compared to the petroleum baseline."
This comes as good news for the National Grain Sorghum Producers, who said that the original EPA notice of data availability was significant in allowing the domestic production of advanced biofuels from sorghum as envisioned in the 2007 Energy Bill.
That legislation requires the production of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022 from both conventional and advanced sources of biofuel.
NFU supported the measure and is interested in seeing other crops become potential biofuel.
“NFU supports expanded use of other biofuels, and encourage the use of eligible feedstocks such as grain sorghum, millet, barley, oats and wheat to meet the requirements for other advanced biofuels under the RFS,” Johnson said.
Grain sorghum produces about the same amount of ethanol per bushel while suing one-third less water, according to the National Sorghum Producers.