|Monthly production of ethanol in the US. Click to enlarge.|
Monthly production of ethanol in the US topped 500 million gallons in May 2007, according to figures from the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). The 528 million gallons in May 2007 (about 406,000 bpd) represented a 38% increase over May 2006.
Demand for ethanol climbed to 556 million gallons (427,000 bpd) in May 2007, an increase of 22% over May 2006.
According to the RFA, as of 30 July 2007 there were 124 ethanol plants in operation in the US, with a combined production capacity of approximately 6.484 billion gallons per year—which works out to an average production capacity of 423,000 barrels per day. The ethanol industry, in other words, basically operated at close to capacity in May 2007.
Another 82 plants are currently under construction or are expanding, however, with a combined new and expansion capacity of an additional 6.3 billion gallons per year. The vast majority of existing and planned new and expansion plants are corn ethanol facilities.