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US Ethanol Production Tops 500 Million Gallons in May

May07ethanol_2
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.

Comments

Kit P

Glen, thanks for making my point. I am not obsessed with biofuel but I am impressed with with their production figures. What is clear, is that the folks that are against ethanol have not made an effort to find out how ethanol is made. When you start quoting studies from farms states instead of UCB or Cornell, then maybe I will consider you less biased.

I am also impressed with with their production figures for American farmers producing crops to feed the world and now produce an energy crop. Of course, Glen is against American farmers because they are productive. Agent orange?

Glen likes BEVs. I am also impressed with with their production figures for American electric industry for production of electricity with coal and nuclear power. However, Glen should like wind, solar, BEV because those segments of American industry are not very productive except in terms of press releases about what they might accomplish someday.

What is really great about America is all the productive people who create a huge tax base so we can pay collage professors working in air conditioned office how bad we are making the world. Give producers a tax break for using more expensive technology, the non-producers of the world call it subsidy.

Jim G

It's worth saying anything coming from Patzek really should be underlined as controversial due to his lifelong ties to the oil industry.

Having said that, there's a distinction that needs to be made between the possibility of using biomethane and waste heat in ethanol plants as mentioned above, versus what these plants actually use. If the companies involved don't see profit in the sustainable alternatives, they won't switch to it without coercion.

As an example, Alternative Energy Sources of Kansas plans to site a plant on a railroad, in part to take direct shipments of corn, but also to take direct shipments of Wyoming coal. Again, the US hasn't, decades on, summoned the courage to force an upgrade on or force a shut down of the remaining coal plants grandfathered out of the Clean Air Act in 1974. So to regulate the ethanol industry's energy inputs is not going to magically happen, especially if CEO's walk around telling the universe that the source of all evil is regulation.

BlackSun

CEO, with all your talk of nuclear steam driven ethanol plants, nothing has been said here about nuclear waste disposal or reprocessing. Until this is figured out, nuclear is just not practical. Much as I'd like to see more nuclear plants, we absolutely MUST deal with the waste before building them. Carter killed reprocessing in the 1970's. This was the *worst move ever* in terms of nuclear waste safety or overall nuclear power sustainability.

Paul Dietz

CEO, with all your talk of nuclear steam driven ethanol plants, nothing has been said here about nuclear waste disposal or reprocessing.

Reprocessing is unnecessary and uneconomical for the foreseeable future. Spent fuel can be disposed of safely and economically on the surface in armored dry casks. We don't need to solve the next thousand generations' problems ourselves; since future generations will very likely be much wealthier than our own (due to technological advance) this would, in effect, be transfering wealth from the poor to the rich.

The idea of burial of nuclear waste was probably initially driven by cold war concerns about what would happen if the Russians dropped ground-burst H-bombs on surface waste storage facilities. I think we're a bit beyond that now.

gr

Why not accept the healthy (compared to petro)conversion to ethanol & butanol initially from corn, then cellulosic stover and non-food stocks. They are a transitional path to electrified transport except in certain sectors. The keys are renewable, local, lower emissions and not beholden to Mid - East oil cartels (a political benefit of immeasurable value).

No one expects biofuel to replace gasoline entirely - it is simply one of many alternative energy solutions that will create jobs, wean us from oil and have a positive effect on environment.

Jim G, I'm sorry it's unrealistic to couch CO2 as a "pollutant" in a world that consumes the volume of carbonated beverages that we do. Don't engineers drink beer?

Jim G

We don't need to solve the next thousand generations' problems ourselves; since future generations will very likely be much wealthier than our own (due to technological advance) this would, in effect, be transfering wealth from the poor to the !rich."

Gee, Paul. I appreciate your optimism, but aren't a lot of environmental problems caused by designing products without considering the end of the life cycle when they become junk?

This reminds me of my parents joking how they bought an electric stove in the 50's instead of a gas one because the industry was telling them at the time nuclear would make electricity too cheap to meter.

I'm saddened at how gung-ho folks are about nuclear on this post. After expensive plants and bailouts and accidents and more waste than we actually have room for in Nevada, I guess we're doomed to repeat our history yet again.

Jim G, I'm sorry it's unrealistic to couch CO2 as a "pollutant" in a world that consumes the volume of carbonated beverages that we do.

OK. I can accept a strict argument that it's more precise to say CO2 is not a pollutant, as a pollutant destroys living things and is harmful in small doses, etc.

But in the volumes we have it in the air-- I mean-- if we split hairs and argue about the scientific precision of that specific word, we'll only obscure the important point, which is that, based on the best science we have, CO2 is affecting the climate. I'm happy to call that as pollution. Disagree as you will, but I think we can mislead people far more by saying "this is not a pollutant-- it's in Coca-cola!", because it implies everything's just fine and the dangers of dumping more CO2 into the air are pure fantasy.

Paul Dietz

Gee, Paul. I appreciate your optimism, but aren't a lot of environmental problems caused by designing products without considering the end of the life cycle when they become junk?

Not really. The serious environmental problems are from degradation induced by actual operations (CO2 emission, deforestation, etc.) Junk itself is a relatively minor environmental problem.

Moreover, disposing of spent fuel in armored casks is hardly 'without consideration'. It's simple, reliable, and allows future generations to exert control, rather than have us force them to deal with the waste already disposed of in some particular way.

I'm saddened at how gung-ho folks are about nuclear on this post.

Myself, I'm saddened by poorly thought out anti-nuclear stands.

Jim G

"Junk itself is a relatively minor environmental problem."

Au contraire. Denial is a far more damaging problem. There are ship wrecking yards in Chittagong, Bangladesh where 20 year old kids wade in the oil sludge they harvest from the oil tankers they rip apart to make a living. Have you ever seen uranium tailings? This stuff is real even if it's not in front of our faces. Sadly, a lot of this is avoidable with proper design, forethought, and cost management.

"Myself, I'm saddened by poorly thought out anti-nuclear stands."

Yes, next to your expansive and bedazzling geysers of wisdom my paltry mind is but a wizened pea. Whatever.

Sam Westbork

Carbon Tax= Socialist Agenda to re-distribute money and expand poverty

Sam,

I was going to let this thread die, but your post makes me curious-- if you really believe that, why are you posting to something called the "Green Car Congress"? Why not find some other site to post on?

Kit P

Sam you may want to be more careful about disturbing the group think. Anyone with half a brain will recognize the irony of the oxymoron 'green car'.

However, many of are interested in reducing the environmental impact of transportation. Clearly, a carbon tax is part of a socialist agenda masquerading a measure that will reduce pollution.

Jim G

Kit,

"Group think"? All the below charges were leveled without opposition from anyone but o solo mio and perhaps in some parts from Glenn:
* nuclear power is wonderful and without any risks and anyone who disagrees is guilty of "poor thinking"
* push forward with coal-to-liquids and drilling in a wildlife refuge
* Anyone who says CO2 concentration is an environmental problem is a "socialist" engaged in "group think" who wants to "increase poverty" and bring back the "horse and buggy"
* The "Green" part of GreenCarCongress is obviously tongue in cheek. "CEO" is not a real life poster but an "exercise catalyst" (hell, everyone stumbling onto this site should have known that because it was so damned obvious, huh? Now I'm really curious what Mike Milliken's input is on that charge; if so, it would suggest the whole site is some sort of agitprop PR vehicle. Is that so?).

Say what you will, Sam and Kit, but it's dishonest to label this thinking "green" (and Kit, you basically admitted that). You guys want the public relations cachet of calling yourselves "green" by associating yourselves with a site like this, while pushing an agenda that is something else altogether, as indicated by this wacky accusation that everyone who disagrees with you is a "socialist". If I said you were a brainwashed fascist knucklehead, it wouldn't add anything to the discussion, so I'll refrain from saying so here :-)

This is my last post, so feel free to call me all the names you want after I'm gone.
AntiSocialistReducedEnvironmentalImpactCarCongress.com domain is still free by the way.

Marian

For latest stories and news on ethanol, biofuels and climate, please visit:
www.ethanol-news.de

Brian

We have had ethanol like techknology since the last big gas crunch back in the 70's..Why haven'nt we used it? Answer: The big corporations are the ones running our country. GREED!
They moved all the production jobs off shores and raised prices and taxes to the point the average person is going or gone broke.
Big corps. do not support the American way of life and only look after there own. The c.e.o's..

Bring our troops home.protect/close our borders and lets start taking care of our own.
Who asked you or I, if we wanted to be a part of a global economy anyway? it dose'nt benifit the Americans. AT ALL!

Brian

G.M is advertising Cars with the capabilities of using E-85 or ethanol.. Where do you buy it? No one sells it in S.W PA. It's sorta like selling them on Giligans Isle.. Pointless.

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