Ethanol's market growth could be limited in coming years as the fuel approaches the maximum percentage blending cap set by the Renewable Fuel Standard II (RFS2), according to a new report released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Biodiesel use in the U.S., by comparison, more than tripled in 2011, according to the report, Biofuels Issues and Trends.
In 2011, the percentage of ethanol additive as a total amount of gasoline consumed in the U.S. climbed to 9.6 percent, up from 9.3 percent in 2010 and 8.0 percent in 2009. This means that gasoline across the U.S. is very close to the maximum percentage of ethanol approved for use in all cars and light trucks. Domestic consumption of ethanol as required under the RFS2 will be challenging unless higher-percentage ethanol blends can achieve significant market penetration, the report said.
Biodiesel production has followed a different path, however. After a 34 percent drop in production in 2010, biodiesel production nearly tripled with the reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit late that year and increased demand under the RFS2.
Photo Credit: Jim Barber/bigstock.com
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