ARKANSAS, February 3 (Future Headlines)- The landscape of biofuel production in the United States showcased resilience and growth in November, with operatable production capacity experiencing a slight uptick and notable gains in the ethanol sector. Data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on January 31 provides insights into the capacity, consumption, and feedstock trends, painting a comprehensive picture of the biofuel industry’s trajectory.

In November, the total operatable biofuels production capacity in the U.S. reached 23.765 billion gallons per year, marking a modest increase of 108 million gallons per year (MMgy) from the previous month. Comparing year-on-year, this reflected a substantial growth of 1.741 billion gallons per year compared to November 2022. The ethanol segment played a significant role in driving the overall capacity increase. Ethanol capacity reached 17.829 billion gallons per year in November, up by 108 MMgy from the previous month and a substantial growth of 652 MMgy compared to November 2022.

Biodiesel production capacity remained stable at 2.079 billion gallons per year in November. However, a slight decrease of 13 MMgy was noted when compared to the biodiesel capacity in November 2022. The capacity for renewable diesel and associated fuels, encompassing various categories like renewable heating oil and renewable jet fuel, maintained a level of 3.857 billion gallons in November. While this was flat compared to the previous month, it represented a noteworthy increase of 1.102 billion gallons per year compared to November 2022.

In November, U.S. biofuel producers consumed approximately 28.615 billion pounds of biofuel feedstock. Although this marked a marginal decrease of less than 1% compared to the previous month, it demonstrated a robust uptick of more than 3% when juxtaposed with feedstock consumption in November of the previous year. The consumption of feedstocks primarily used in ethanol production, including corn and grain sorghum, reached approximately 25.686 billion pounds in November. This represented a minor decrease of less than 1% from the previous month but showcased an increase from November 2022.

Feedstock consumption for the production of biobased diesel and associated fuels amounted to 2.869 billion pounds in November. While this reflected a slight decrease from the previous month, there was a substantial increase of approximately 36% compared to November 2022. The breakdown of specific feedstocks provides a deeper understanding of the raw materials utilized in biofuel production. Corn consumption stood at 25.608 billion pounds in November, showing a slight decrease from October. However, it remained higher compared to November 2022.

In November, soybean oil consumption reached 1.062 billion pounds. This included consumption by both biodiesel and renewable diesel plants. The data indicated a consistent trend, with consumption levels comparable to the previous month but showing an increase from November 2022. Corn oil consumption was at 353 million pounds in November, with the EIA withholding data on the volume consumed by biodiesel and renewable diesel plants to safeguard individual company data.

Biofuel producers consumed 291 million pounds of canola oil in November, with breakdowns for biodiesel and renewable diesel production. While this marked a slight decrease from October, it demonstrated a significant increase from November 2022. The consumption of other fats, oils, and greases, including yellow grease, beef tallow, white grease, and poultry fat, showcased variations. The data reflected the adaptability of biofuel production to different feedstocks based on availability and economic factors.

The November data underscores the dynamic nature of the U.S. biofuel industry, with capacity expansion, diverse feedstock consumption, and a continuous commitment to sustainable practices. The upward trajectory in ethanol capacity aligns with the demand for renewable fuels, while stability in biodiesel and renewable diesel production highlights a consistent footing.

As biofuel producers navigate challenges and opportunities, the ability to adapt to varying feedstock landscapes and maintain steady production levels showcases the industry’s resilience. Moving forward, a comprehensive understanding of feedstock dynamics, along with continued investments in capacity and technology, will be pivotal for shaping the biofuel sector’s role in the evolving energy landscape.

Reporting by Kevin Wood; Editing by Sarah White