The United States saw a marginal increase in total biofuel production capacity in November, primarily driven by gains in ethanol production, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on January 31. Despite a slight dip in total feedstock consumption from the previous month, the biofuel sector continues its growth trajectory.
Total biofuel production capacity reached 23.765 billion gallons per year in November, up by 108 million gallons per year compared to October. Year-over-year, this represents an increase of 1.741 billion gallons per year.
Ethanol capacity, a significant component of the U.S. biofuel landscape, reached 17.829 billion gallons per year in November. This marked a month-on-month increase of 108 million gallons per year and a substantial year-over-year growth of 652 million gallons per year.
Biodiesel production capacity remained stable at 2.079 billion gallons per year in November, maintaining the level from the previous month. However, there was a modest decrease of 13 million gallons per year compared to November 2022.
Renewable diesel and associated fuels, covering various biofuels and biointermediates, held a capacity of 3.857 billion gallons in November, showing no change from the previous month but exhibiting a robust year-over-year increase of 1.102 billion gallons per year.
Despite these capacity gains, U.S. biofuel producers experienced a marginal drop in feedstock consumption, amounting to approximately 28.615 billion pounds in November. While this represents a minor decrease of less than 1% compared to the previous month, it marks a more significant year-over-year uptick of over 3%.
The consumption of feedstocks primarily used in ethanol production, including corn and grain sorghum, reached about 25.686 billion pounds in November. Although this reflected a slight month-on-month decline of less than 1%, it showed an increase of nearly 1% compared to November 2022.
Feedstocks used in the production of biobased diesel and associated fuels saw consumption of 2.869 billion pounds in November. This indicated a slight month-on-month decrease but a notable year-over-year surge of approximately 36%.
The U.S. biofuel industry's reliance on various feedstocks, including soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, yellow grease, beef tallow, white grease, poultry fat, and other fats, oils, and greases, underscores the diversity of raw materials contributing to the sector's growth.
Despite ongoing challenges, including the need for regulatory approval and fluctuations in feedstock consumption, the U.S. biofuel industry remains a vital player in the nation's renewable energy landscape. As the sector continues to evolve, its contribution to meeting sustainable energy goals remains a focal point of interest.