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EPA finalizes increase in renewable fuel volumes for 2017; 6% total increase to 19.28B gallons

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized increases in renewable fuel volume requirements across all categories of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. In a required annual rulemaking, the action finalizes the volume requirements and associated percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2017, and for biomass-based diesel for 2018.

The final volumes represent continued growth over historic levels. The final standards meet or exceed the volume targets specified by Congress for total renewable fuel, biomass-based diesel, and advanced biofuel. Total renewable fuel volumes grow 6% (1.2 billion gallons) from 2016 to 2017 to 19.28 billion gallons.


Non-advanced or “conventional” renewable fuel increases in 2017, meeting the 15 billion-gallon congressional target for conventional fuels.

The standard for biomass-based biodiesel—which must achieve at least 50% lifecycle greenhouse gas emission reductions compared to petroleum-based diesel—grows by 100 million gallons. The required volume of biomass-based diesel for 2017 is twice that of the minimum congressional target.

Cellulosic biofuel—which must achieve at least 60% lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions—grows 35% over the 2016 standard to 311 million gallons.

The advanced biofuel standard—comprising biomass-based diesel, cellulosic biofuel, and other biofuel that achieves at least 50% lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions—increases 19% over the 2016 standard to 4.28 billion gallons.

Renewable Fuel Volume Requirements for 2014-2018
  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Cellulosic biofuel (million gallons) 33 123 230 311 n/a
Biomass-based diesel (billion gallons) 1.63 1.73 1.9 2.0 2.1
Advanced biofuel (billion gallons) 2.67 2.88 3.61 4.28 n/a
Renewable fuel (billion gallons) 16.28 16.93 18.11 19.28 n/a

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set annual RFS volume requirements for four categories of biofuels. EPA is using the tools provided by Congress to adjust the standards below the statutory targets, but the steadily increasing volumes in the final rule continue to support Congress’s intent to grow the volumes. EPA implements the RFS program in consultation with the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Energy.




The USA consumes around 140 billion gallons of gasoline each year.
This 19 Billion gallons is getting to be an interesting number. At 6% compound growth, biofuels will amount to around 30% of liquid fuel consumption by 2030. In combination with increased fuel economy standards and EV take-up, the USA could well be on a steep downward trajectory in liquid fossil-fuel consumption by 2030.


Approaching from several angles, we can reduced imported oil.
Some say bio fuels, bio synthetic fuels and synthetic fuels can not do it all so FORGET it. That view is obviously NOT helping solve the problem.


What logic is this, that unless you solve the entire problem on your own, your solution is worthless? This is how we got into this problem with such thinking. We're to dependent upon oil and suffer economically when bad things happen to that supply. We lost competition and choice at the pump and had no alternatives when discovering oil product's pollution and international corruption. Diversity provides more stability and alternatives when bad things happen.

By the way the biofuel alternative has done most of the heavy lifting so far for emission reductions within the energy requirements for transportation. I do know the industry keeps such tabulations, but think of the fuel supplies around the globe that now include a portion of biofuel. The lower carbon rating and if ethanol, the oxygenate benefit it provides. Ethanol bumps up the efficiency gain that fuel delivers to make even plain gasoline more useful to high efficiency engines and doing so by displacing toxic benzene and lead. Also, it appears the sector is invigorating farm technology. Even foreign countries are now reporting biofuel makes it possible to finance better farming techniques and equipment and these improvements are making a difference in food production along side bio fuel. The same is expected and already happening in forestry management. These benefits may provide more value to humanity that the green fuel itself. For example the animal feed industry is upon a steep inline for improvement given thanks to the nutritious distillery grain supplements (a coproduct of ethanol).

Biofuel production, supply chain, and utilization is under study with good R&D results. This is resulting in steady improvement lined up heel to toe to gradually improve the economics. This is a tremendously creative industry with a huge pallet to work within. And yes analysis do have all this being capable of supplying the entire energy needs of the planet, at least by 2050. That is just a BTU count and not a prediction. But it does indicate coals'future may lie within biomass. The addition of biomass really decrease the emissions. It's more than the old solution to pollution is dilution thing as the biomass reacts with the coal to chemically make the emission less caustic. Also, the gasifying technology becomes more manageable a big bump up in efficiency gain with these copower plants.

As we know the cellulosic conversion process continues to evolve to higher conversion rates, quicker processes, and lower cost process plants enjoying cheaper supplies. That ethanol can be converted to jet fuel also a good thing. Nobody expects biofuel to go away, only to increase in supplies.

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