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EIA releases plant-level US biofuels production capacity data

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

As of 1 January 2021, total US biofuels plant production capacity reached 21 billion gal./y (or 1.3 million bpd), as reported by 278 facilities.

Fuel ethanol producers accounted for 85% of US total biofuels production capacity, followed by biodiesel producers at 11%, and the remaining 4% by other renewable fuel producers.

On 3 September, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its three annual plant production capacity reports: ‘2021 Fuel Ethanol Production Capacity’, ‘2021 Biodiesel Plant Production Capacity’, and ‘2021 Renewable Fuels Plant Production Capacity’. The three annual reports contain the EIA’s most up-to-date estimates of plant production capacity for the US biofuels industry.

The reports include biofuels production capacity for operating plants in both million gal./y and thousand bpd as of 1 January 2021. The names of the reporting plants are organised by state and region.

Biodiesel producers, operating 75 biodiesel plants, accounted for 2.4 billion gal./y of US total biodiesel production capacity (157 000 bpd) at the start of 2021, down by 0.1 billion gal./y since January 2020. More than half of US biodiesel production capacity is in the Midwest, primarily in Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois. The remainder is mostly located on the Gulf Coast and West Coast.

Of the 13 states with the most fuel ethanol production, 12 are located in the Midwest. The three states with the most production — Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois — contain half of the nation’s total ethanol production capacity. Fuel ethanol production capacity was 17.5 billion gal./y (or 1.1 million bpd) as of 1 January 2021, as reported by 197 producers, an increase of 0.2 billion gal./y since the beginning of 2020.

Six renewable fuel producers reported to EIA for the first time. They provided data for renewable diesel fuel, renewable heating oil, renewable jet fuel, renewable naphtha, renewable gasoline, and other renewable fuels. Their combined operable production capacity totalled 791 million gal./y (or 52 000 bpd). The Gulf Coast contains more than half of all US renewable fuels production capacity, all in Louisiana, as of January 2021.

Respondents report biofuels production capacity data on the Form EIA-819, ‘Monthly Report of Biofuels, Fuels from Non-Biogenic Wastes, Fuel Oxygenates, Isooctane, and Isooctene’, survey. Additional survey data can be accessed in the EIA’s three reports.

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