Group forecasts 2010 ethanol output of 22.7 billion gal

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 22 –
Worldwide ethanol production this year is expected to reach 22.7 billion gal, compared with 19.5 billion gal in 2009, the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) said.

The 2009 production statistic came from information compiled by commodities information service F.O. Licht, said GRFA, a federation representing renewable fuels producers from 30 countries.

“This year, ethanol production will displace the need for 370 million equivalent barrels of oil globally,” GRFA said. Its forecast did not break out how much of the ethanol will be based on corn and how much on sugar cane.

The US is expected to be the world leader in ethanol manufacturing, with more than 12 billion gal of ethanol production forecast for this year. Brazil is close behind, said Bliss Baker, GRFA spokesman.

He expects the first commercial cellulose ethanol production in at least three countries this year.

US ethanol mandate
In the US, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires sales of 12 billion gal of “conventional biofuel” this year. Most of that volume will be ethanol from corn.

The conventional-biofuel mandate rises to a plateau level 15 billion gal/year in 2015, when the requirement for all renewable fuel will be 20.5 billion gal. The difference between those volumes must be “advanced biofuel,” including ethanol from cellulose and diesel made from biomass.

The total mandate for renewable fuel rises to 36 billion gal in 2022.

The US Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year set the 2010 cellulosic ethanol biofuel requirement at 6.5 million gal, down from the 100 million gal that Congress established in 2007. EPA set the standard for diesel from biomass at 1.15 billion gal, combining requirements for 2009 and 2010.

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