Cellulosic Ethanol “Mandate” Downgraded Again

by Brian McGraw on June 21, 2011

in Blog, Features

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Today the EPA announced its proposed 2012 Renewable Fuel Standard requirements:

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) established the annual renewable fuel volume targets, which steadily increase to an overall level of 36 billion gallons in 2022. To achieve these volumes, EPA calculates a percentage-based standard for the following year. Based on the standard, each refiner, importer, and non-oxygenate blender of gasoline or diesel determines the minimum volume of renewable fuel that it must ensure is used in its transportation fuel.

The proposed 2012 overall volumes and standards are:

Biomass-based diesel (1.0 billion gallons; 0.91 percent)
Advanced biofuels (2.0 billion gallons; 1.21 percent)
Cellulosic biofuels (3.45 – 12.9 million gallons; 0.002 – 0.010 percent)
Total renewable fuels (15.2 billion gallons; 9.21 percent)

Based on analysis of market availability, EPA is proposing a 2012 cellulosic volume that is lower than the EISA target for 2012 of 500 million gallons. EPA will continue to evaluate the market as it works to finalize the cellulosic standard in the coming months. The agency remains optimistic that the commercial availability of cellulosic biofuel will continue to grow in the years ahead.

Whoops! Mandating technological feats is harder than those Congresscritters thought. One of these days they will get it right. Unless some of the delayed-plants begin to seriously ramp up their production, I’d bet that the 2012 “mandate” will be lowered again from 3.45 million gallons. Note that no “qualifying” cellulosic ethanol (meaning zero gallons, of the original 250 million required in 2011) has been produced and blended into our petroleum as of now.

business review June 24, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Biodiesel use is now mandated to grow from 500 million gallons in 2009 to one billion gallons in 2012. Thus actual production in 2007 at less than 500 million gallons was far less than the 1.85 billion gallons in capacity…

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