Fuel Cell Hybrid Bus Begins Service In Hartford
ConocoPhillips Supports Mandatory National Framework to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

EPA Finalizes Regulations for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today established the regulations for the nation’s first comprehensive Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. Authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the RFS program requires that the equivalent of at least 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel be blended into motor vehicle fuel sold in the US by 2012. (Earlier post.)

The RFS program requires major American refiners, blenders, and importers to use a minimum volume of renewable fuel each year between 2007 and 2012. The minimum level or “standard” which is determined as a percentage of the total volume of fuel a company produces or imports, will increase every year.

For 2007, 4.02% of all the fuel sold or dispensed to US motorists will have to come from renewable sources, roughly 4.7 billion gallons.

The RFS program is based on a trading system that provides a flexible means for industry to comply with the annual standard by allowing renewable fuels to be used where they are most economical. Various renewable fuels can be used to meet the requirements of the program. While the RFS program establishes that a minimum amount of renewable fuel be used in the United States, more fuel can be used if producers and blenders choose to do so.

Demand for fuel ethanol in the US in 2006 hit 5.38 billion gallons, exceeding the RFS target for 2007. Currently, 115 ethanol biorefineries nationwide have the capacity to produce 5.7 billion gallons annually. There are an additional 79 ethanol biorefineries and 7 expansions under construction with a combined annual capacity of more than 6 billion gallons, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.

The Administration has already proposed a follow-on to the RFS—the Alternative Fuel Standard (AFS)—that would require use of 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017—nearly five times the target of 2012.

The AFS proposal is designed to displace 15% of projected annual gasoline use in 2017 through the use of alternative fuels including corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, methanol, butanol, hydrogen, and others.

The AFS is one component of the Twenty in Ten plan (a 20% reduction of gasoline consumption in 10 years) proposed by President Bush earlier this year. The other 5% is to come from reforming and modernizing fuel economy standards for light duty vehicles. The Administration has proposed an increase of fuel economy standards of 4% per year through 2017.

While we must look at increasing the availability of renewable and alternative fuels, we must also continue to improve the fuel efficiency of our passenger cars and light trucks. As a part of the President’s “20 in 10” energy security plan, we need Congress to give the Secretary of Transportation the authority to reform the current passenger car fuel economy standard.

—Nicole Nason, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Kit P.

Provide incentives and they will come.

Warren Heath

A serious shortcoming in the efforts to support alternative fuels, is mixing alcohols with fossil fuels negates the tremendous efficiency advantage that engines can have that burn NEAT alcohols, namely Methanol & Ethanol. A simpler modification of a VW 90 hp TDI engine, with port fuel injection, and spark ignition will burn methanol at 43% peak efficiency, ethyl alcohol at 41% peak efficiency, and with a much larger high efficiency island, than the diesel, as well as a extremely clean exhaust that meets Tier2, new ultra-low vehicle emissions limits.


I'm glad butanol is part of this list. But as always, the real trick will be how to get it in large volume from renewable sources with good energy return.


We have gone from 2.58% mandate heading towards about a 5% mandate. If it is ethanol, have they figured out where are the corn is coming from and what that does to the world corn markets? Probably not, that will have to be worked out by future administrations.

John Flagge

SJC said - "have they figured out where are the corn is coming from and what that does to the world corn markets?"

Celluostic Ethanol.


I do not see a lot of cellulose ethanol, but I read a lot about corn ethanol. When will this magical transformation take place? They are building lots of ethanol distilleries, but most of them, if not virtually all of them, use corn as the feed stock. People can TALK about cellulose, but where are the industrial grade facilities?

Cheryl Ho

there are developments in DME in China today!
We see great potential for DME as a clean alternative fuel . The present diesel oil is a major source of air pollution from diesel engine of trucks and busses in large city like Tokyo. The potential market of diesel oil substitute is larger than LPG. DME is one of ideal fuel for diesel engine. DME vehicles were demonstratively manufactured in Japan, China and Korea and their driving test already started. Practical durability fleet test of a DME truck is under going in Japan.

We are pleased to organise a conference on China taking the lead in the DME market in production from coal and Japan and Korea activities.

If you would like to know more on COAL to Syngas to DME developments, join us at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:

DME productivity can be much higher especially if
country energy policies makes an effort comparable to
that invested in increasing supply.
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
will be sharing their experience.

Advances in conversion technologies are readily
available and offer exciting potential of DME as a
chemical feedstock
By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
that DME/ Methanol can play a large energy supply role
By: International Finance Corporation

For more information: www.iceorganiser.com

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