Ethanol Industry News

Ethanol Industry News

Ethanol Industry News. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

An ethanol industry official says full-scale commercialization of E-15 is probably years off - but cellulosic ethanol - seen as a key safety valve to meet the nation’s Renewable Fuels Standard - may be just around the corner. Last week’s EPA denial of an RFS waiver request by the livestock industry and several Governors did nothing to end their fight with ethanol producers over high grain prices. EPA says the petitioners couldn’t prove such harm and a waiver would provide little relief. More non-corn ethanol could ease the fight - but that will take time - though Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen expects some mass production next year.

DINEEN: There are two facilities that have completed their instruction and are going through the ramp up to commercial production stages but there are four other plants that are under construction that will complete construction in 2013.
Dinneen expects cellulosic ethanol to take off after that.

DINEEN: And once the first and second and third plants demonstrate that they have the technology that they can convert cellulose to ethanol cost competitively, there’s going to be a rush to build that next plant and you will see the cellulosic ethanol industry scale up as fast, if not faster than the grain ethanol industry did once a market was available to it.
But grain ethanol has already hit the so-called blend wall - requiring greater use of gasoline blends higher than 10-percent ethanol. EPA has approved use of E-15 in model year 2001 and newer gasoline-fueled cars - and there is limited use in the Midwest - but technical and regulatory barriers to wide-scale use remain.

DINEEN: The growth of E15 has indeed been as we expected. It was slow and it’s going to continue to be slow because of state regulatory barriers that still exist. Because of some marketplace conditions that EPA sort of established that make it difficult for gasoline marketers to put the equipment in place and the program in place to offer E15 to consumers that might want it.

The Administration has set a goal to help fueling stations install 10-thousand blender pumps over the next five-years. The RFS requires 15-billion gallons of corn-based ethanol production by 2015 and 21-billion of cellulosic ethanol by 2022.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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