Carbon Spotlight: Summit Carbon Solutions

As our world works towards a net-zero emission future, the newly formed Summit Carbon Solutions is tackling this challenge head on through innovative carbon capture and storage technologies (CCS).

Summit Carbon Solutions, created by Summit Agricultural Group earlier this year, is working to lower the carbon footprint of biorefineries and other carbon dioxide emission sources throughout the Midwest by developing the world’s largest carbon capture and storage project.

Expected to be operational in 2024, the Summit Carbon Solutions project will be able to capture and permanently store more than 12 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking 2.6 million cars off the road per year, or the same amount of carbon stored by 14.7 million acres of forest. Summit Carbon Solutions will construct an underground pipeline system across five states, including North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota and more than 30 ethanol plants for long-term underground sequestration.

For its partner biorefineries, Summit Carbon Solutions means a carbon footprint reduced by up to 50%, propelling them on the path of delivering a net-zero carbon fuel. Biofuels like ethanol are already making a mark in the clean energy conversations. Research has shown that if our nation moved to a fuel standard of 15 percent ethanol (E15) from E10, greenhouse gas emissions would be lower by 17.62 million tons per year, which is the equivalent of removing approximately 3.85 million vehicles from the road. Summit Carbon Solutions’ large investment in carbon capture would further prove ethanol’s role in addressing climate change. A number of Growth Energy plants are already forging ahead with carbon capture as a means to reduce CI scores and promote fuel that is better for the earth.

“Ethanol and carbon capture go hand in hand,” said Jim Pirolli, Chief Commercial Officer of Summit Carbon Solutions. “Ethanol plants release clean, pure carbon that is increasingly demanded by other consumers and businesses. The forward thinking biorefineries we have partnered with, and the agricultural producers that supply them, will collectively produce the largest volume of low carbon fuel in the world – positioning them well as carbon reduction pressures increase.”

After the CO2 is captured from ethanol plants, compressed CO2 is transported through pipelines. It then arrives at the injection site in North Dakota and is injected approximately a mile below ground. Finally, CO2 is stored in highly researched geologic formations, where it will remain safely underground for millions of years. The net result for our planet is a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions that would have otherwise gone into the atmosphere. As policymakers debate carbon reduction strategies in our nation’s clean energy transition, we are grateful to have the team of experts at Summit Carbon Solutions as part of our organization. Learn more about their CCS plans at