It’s been a record-breaking year for ethanol production in Iowa. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) says the state’s 43 ethanol plants produced more than 4 billion gallons during 2015, up slightly from 3.9 billion gallons in 2014. Iowa continues to be the number one ethanol producing state, accounting for more than a quarter of all ethanol produced in the U.S.
“While Iowa took a modest step forward in production this year, we have the corn supplies to really expand ethanol production,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “What we don’t have is access to the market for higher ethanol blends. The USDA blender pump grant program will help move the needle forward in 2016 and we hope the EPA will get the RFS back on track when they propose the RFS levels for 2017. If we can crack the petroleum monopoly on fuel choice, it will benefit consumers, farmers and the environment.”
IRFA credits the increase to efficiency gains and debottlenecking at existing plants, as well as ethanol production from cellulosic feedstocks such as corn stover and corn kernel fiber.