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ND Ethanol Producer Red Trail Energy to Bring Carbon Credits to Voluntary Market

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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Richardton, North Dakota,-based Red Trail Energy announced plans to offer for purchase carbon credits from the company's 64-million-gallon ethanol plant. (DTN screenshot)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- Richardton, North Dakota,-based Red Trail Energy is expected to be among the first and largest ethanol producers in the country to bring carbon dioxide removal credits from ethanol CO2 capture and storage to the voluntary market, the company announced in a news release on Wednesday.

The credits are expected to be certified through carbon removal standard and registry

The CO2 Red Trail Energy sequesters from the fermentation process at its 64-million-gallon plant are expected to be available as removal credits, the company announced.

Removal credits are defined as emissions offset projects that absorb additional CO2 from the atmosphere as a way to remove its greenhouse gas potential.

Red Trail said there is slated to be an initial offering of credits in the coming weeks. The credits can be purchased in a request for proposal for "prompt and future offtakes" through Red Trail Energy's marketing firm Renewable Products Marketing Group.

According to Growth Energy, about 25% of ethanol plants across the country capture carbon for multiple uses. That includes food, beverages and dry ice. It is estimated carbon capture and sequestration reduces ethanol's carbon intensity by 25 to 30 points.

Red Trail's plant is believed to be one of the first bioenergy facilities in the U.S. to use carbon capture and storage technology. The company began capturing the estimated annual output of 180,000 metric tons of CO2 directly from the fermentation process in 2022.

The CO2 is stored locally in a state-certified Class VI well about 6,500 feet directly beneath the plant into the Broom Creek Formation.

Red Trail's project is expected to be certified through's geologically stored carbon methodology as net-negative, verified, and audited by a third-party for life cycle analysis.

The issued CO2 removal certificates are expected to indicate 1,000-plus years of carbon sequestration. For traceability and transparency, the company said the certificates are issued in the Puro registry where their complete lifecycle is recorded from issuance to retirement.

"Red Trail Energy's successful project launch has been years in development and is a historic milestone in the race to a sustainable, carbon-neutral future using carbon dioxide removal technology and provides a proven, immediate solution to combat the worse impacts of climate change," the company said in a news release.

Red Trail's marketing company has 20 marketing partners with over 2.2 billion gallons, 2.3 million tons of distiller's dried grains with solubles, and 500 million pounds of distiller's corn oil marketed annually.

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