Gevo works with farmers and other biomass producers to develop new and innovative ways to make renewable biofuel with a reduced carbon footprint, the more decarbonization, the better.
Indirect land use change (iLUC) captures the market-mediated changes in land use that can occur in response to biofuel production. When biofuel feedstocks displace food and fiber production in the economy, this can drive an expansion of agricultural production into lands with high carbon storage, such as forests or wetlands, that release greenhouse gases. The idea of iLUC has been around for more than a decade, but there are strong disagreements in both the scientific community and between regulators on how to measure and address it.
Estimates of iLUC emissions are aggregated calculations across the entire biofuel sector rather than being tied to a specific agricultural project or fuel production process. For example, an iLUC model may look at the total effects of increasing corn ethanol production by 15 billion gallons, and the resulting land use change that this could cause across the world. It isn’t possible to measure these changes precisely in the real world, so modeling is typically used to estimate it instead. These models are attempting a Herculean task—they must simulate all the potential economic responses to biofuels and their co-products that could result in land use change across the globe, without any real-world calibration to check the results.
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At Gevo, Inc., we understand that sustainability works best as part of the larger economy—that means sustainable products must compete with nonrenewable products in the marketplace. Read all about it in Gevo’s whitepaper, The Circular Economy, downloadable here.