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EIA: US ethanol plants have nameplate capacity of 13.614B gallons per year

The 193 ethanol plants operating in the US as of 1 January 2011 have a nameplate capacity of 13.614 billion gallons per year, or 888,000 barrels per day, according to the first release of US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data on fuel ethanol production capacity.

Annualized maximum sustainable capacity is 14.239 billion gallons per year (929,000 barrels per day).

Nameplate capacity is the volume of denatured fuel ethanol that can be produced during a period of 12 months under normal operating conditions. Maximum sustainable capacity is the annualized maximum denatured fuel ethanol production that can be achieved over a period of any 6 consecutive months.

The majority of the ethanol plants (171, or 88.6%) are located in PADD 2 (the Midwest).

EIA will release future capacity data annually near the end of September (data for January 1).



It can be assumed that they use about 5.444 B/bushels of corn a year. That is very close to 40% to 44% of the total USA corn production. Other grains have to be used as animal feeds and it has a major impact on the price of meat, eggs, milk, pasta, bread, pastry, and many other food items.

With the majority having to do with little change in salary during the last 5+ years, large families will have more problems to make ends meet. It is a smart way to make the majority poorer and the large feed stock producers richer.


yes 44% of corn production to produce the equivalent of 0.6M barrels par day. When a politician will have the courage to stop this insanity ?


One solution to use-produce less corn based ethanol and/or other liquid fuels would be to reduce liquid fuel consumption by up to 50% as quickly as possible. Going from 18 mpg to 36 mpg gas guzzlers would certainly help but something like 54 mpg gas guzzlers may be required.

To avoid worldwide food shortages and high food prices, specially during a severe long lasting financial recession, the introduction of more efficient electrified vehicles using much less liquid fuel is becoming unavoidable.

Until such times as electrified vehicles become affordable and available, NG/SG and coal could be converted to liquid fuels to feed the part of the current and near future ICEV fleet.


This year's US corn crop, the third largest on record, delivered the same percentage for food use as in the past - 12%. Only 12% of harvested corn is used to make food (corn chips, oil, flour etc.) The rest 88% is non-food product.

When corn is processed at an ethanol plant, ethanol is not the only product; 1/3 of all corn gets recycled into a rich and nutritious feed for livestock, which is called DDGS (Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles).

"This has led to the inflated claim that the ethanol industry is using nearly 40% of the corn supply when in fact, if coproducts are taken into account, only 23% of the 2010-11 U.S. corn supply and 3% of the global grain supply will be used for ethanol production.”

Corn-based ethanol keeps local economies buoyant, reducing the demand for imported OIL paid for with the lives of young soldiers and taxpayer salaries. Better to use electric energy of course, but during our transition to EVs - domestic renewable fuel production is necessary and will continue.


Reel$$...unfortunately, the number of poor people in USA is growing at almost the same rate as corn ethanol production. Using edible grains to produce fuel for our gas guzzlers is NOT the solution because it has too much of a negative impact on 90+% getting poorer day by day. Very few (less than 1%) really benefit.

An acceptable interim measure could be to transform plentiful non-edibles such as NG/SG, Coal, forest wastes, domestic wastes, industrial wastes etc into liquid fuels for our inefficient gas guzzlers. The price of food would stop rising and the country could get rid of useless wastes.


Harvey, your message of gloom and doom defines your world but not reality. It's all good.

"US Personal Income rose 0.3% in July, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis official publication. The reading is in line with expectations and follows a 0.2% increase in June (upwardly revised from 0.1%).

Personal Consumption Expenditures grew 0.8% in July, exceeding expectations around a 0.5% rise and following a 0.1% fall in June. The increase in spending was the largest in two years."


Reel$$...we are overdue for a major change in financial distribution fundamentals. Current growth is almost entirely based on continued unsustainable increase in debt, at all levels. The debt bubble has only one way to go. Unless something is done soon, it will burst in our face. Nobody (except the 1%) is immune. The recent minor increase in personal income and spending in USA is due to lower income tax and the Fed going deeper in debt.

Most countries in EU are following the same trend with the exception of Oil/NG exporters like Norway, Russia and a few others. Canada may be in a slightly better position with lower debt levels and major Oil-NG-Electricity-Aluminium, multiple mineral exports and the recent purchase of major Oil/mines access by China, but it will also be affected when the debt bubble burst.

We may have to stop financing the wrong decisions (like corn ethanol) with borrowed money and make matters worst.


They can create cellulose front ends, use corn stalks.


"yes 44% of corn production to produce the equivalent of 0.6M barrels par day.
Posted by: Treehugger"

That is about a quarter of the worlds daily excess production of oil.. if ethanol was removed from the market oil prices would just explode... and high fructose corn syrup is still dirt cheap, some people even burn corn to produce heat.


Herm...instead of consuming and producing more and more (of about every thing) every day, we could start to use the increased efficiency route for a change. It is NOT anti-American to do so but plain common sense, which we used to have.

There are no good reasons why USA uses 9+ million/barrel of oil (fossil and/or agricultural) every day to produce gasoline for our inefficient gas guzzlers. That is about 3 times more than it should be. Moving CAFE from 18 mpg to 54+ mpg could reduce daily consumption from 9 M/bar to 3 M/bar and NO corn based ethanol would be required.

Many new cars can do 54+ mpg already. A bonus-malus program (plus higher fuel taxes) could be used to promote the switch to more efficient vehicles.

We have to collectively wake up.

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