Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Document and Entity Information

Document and Entity Information - USD ($)
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2019
Mar. 27, 2020
Jun. 28, 2019
Document and Entity Information [Abstract]      
Entity Registrant Name Pacific Ethanol, Inc.    
Entity Central Index Key 0000778164    
Document Type 10-K    
Document Period End Date Dec. 31, 2019    
Amendment Flag false    
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31    
Entity Well-known Seasoned Issuer No    
Entity Voluntary Filers No    
Entity Emerging Growth Company false    
Entity Filer Category Non-accelerated Filer    
Entity Reporting Status Current Yes    
Entity Small Business true    
Entity Shell Company false    
Document Fiscal Period Focus FY    
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2019    
Entity Public Float     $ 36,400,000
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   55,893,014  
Entity File Number 000-21467    
Entity Interactive Data Current Yes    
Entity Incorporation, State or Country Code DE