Experts familiar with the biofuel industry say corn ethanol production will remain steady despite the fact that regulators proposed reducing federal renewable fuel requirements. That steady production is partially driven by corn ethanol’s secondary benefits, which include the production of grain feed for livestock.
The goal of the Renewable Fuel Standard is to produce a total of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022.
But while corn ethanol will stay strong, policy uncertainties have likely stalled the production of advanced biofuels, the kind of cellulosic formulas such as those made from tall grasses and stalks.
In this series, we take a look at U.S. renewable fuel policy, corn ethanol and advanced biofuels.
Industry experts expect corn ethanol production to stay strong despite a proposal to reduce federal renewable fuel requirements. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed to reduce renewable fuel mandates for 2014 through 2016, lessening what it initially slated in 2005.
With major cuts in funding, the future is unclear for cellulosic biofuels, an energy source researchers have called “the most promising” of all biofuels. Biofuels are an alternative energy source to petroleum fuel and can be produced from corn, oil or plant material. The fuels are appealing to those looking to reduce carbon emissions and decrease reliance on foreign oil.
Every time you put gas in your car, you’re adding a bit of renewable fuel to your tank, as well. You may not notice since renewable fuels are government-mandated, and they only save you a few pennies per gallon of gasoline, according to industry experts. But behind the scenes, there is complex policy that goes into adding that renewable fuel into your gasoline. Here are some pieces of information that break down how renewable fuel production works.
The delay in proposed renewable fuel minimums by the Environmental Protection Agency may have hindered the future of advanced biofuels, the kind of cellulosic ethanol formulas made from tall grasses and stalks. Although researchers tout advanced biofuels’ environmental benefits, the uncertain policy has caused some in the agriculture industry to shy away from them.
READ MORE INVESTIGATE MIDWEST STORIES ON CORN ETHANOL AND BIOFUELS HERE