Iowa’s ethanol production increased slightly this year; however, the rate of annual growth slowed as the domestic E10 market became saturated, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
Iowa has 41 ethanol refineries that produced 3.7 billion gallons in 2011, up from 3.5 billion gallons in 2010. This represents 27 percent of the estimated 13.8 billion gallons of nationwide ethanol production.
“2011 was certainly a good year for Iowa ethanol producers with increased production and profitability,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “However, we relied on export markets for growth. We’re also facing the expiration of ethanol’s tax credit. Those factors place a premium on pushing the rapid commercialization of E15. Higher blends like E15 are the only way to guarantee increased ethanol production in the future and the jobs and foreign oil displacement that comes with it. We are waiting for final federal approvals, but Iowa will be a leader in E15.”