Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Document and Entity Information

Document and Entity Information - shares
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2018
Nov. 01, 2018
Document And Entity Information    
Entity Registrant Name Pacific Ethanol, Inc.  
Entity Central Index Key 0000778164  
Document Type 10-Q  
Trading Symbol PEIX  
Document Period End Date Sep. 30, 2018  
Amendment Flag false  
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31  
Entity's Reporting Status Current Yes  
Entity Emerging Growth Company false  
Entity Ex Transition Period false  
Entity Filer Category Accelerated Filer  
Entity Small Business false  
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   45,716,235
Document Fiscal Period Focus Q3  
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2018