Ethanol Exports Dip in October

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U.S. ethanol exports moved three percent lower in October after an up month in September, but still maintained a respectable 117.1 million gallons (mg), according to the latest report from the Renewable Fuels Association. Year-to-date exports, totaling 1.16 billion gallons, are steady with last year at this time.

Canada was our largest destination for the 31st consecutive month with exports of 64.6 mg (94% denatured) accounting for 55% of total sales on a 7% increase from September. This is the largest single-country purchase since Brazil’s offtake in March 2019. The U.S. exported 13.7 mg to India (following four months of near-zero volumes) and 12.6 mg to the United Kingdom (down 8% from September). Virtually all remaining ethanol exports were distributed among seven markets, with the largest volumes landing in the Philippines (6.5 mg, +176%), South Korea (6.0 mg, +17%), Peru (5.7 mg, +89%), and Mexico (5.1 mg, -9%). Brazil again was notably absent from the U.S. ethanol export market.

Exports of the ethanol co-product dried distillers grains (DDGS) dropped by 13% in October to a six month low of 896,708 metric tons (mt). Mexico remained the largest destination for the sixteenth consecutive month with exports of 193,524 mt, down four percent from September. So far this year, U.S. DDGS exports total 8.99 million mt, four percent behind last year at this time.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

New NASCAR Cup Series Iowa Corn 350, Powered by Ethanol

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Iowa Corn is proud to announce the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race in the state – the Iowa Corn 350, Powered by Ethanol – will showcase the performance of ethanol on the world’s fastest short-track, surrounded by corn fields.

“I am pleased to share with the NASCAR family, why choosing higher blends of ethanol benefits everyone,” said Stan Nelson, a farmer from Middletown and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board President. “We can make a sustainable difference today, without buying a whole new vehicle, but by simply choosing to fuel up with ethanol at the pump. And not only are we benefiting the environment but also our economy, as ethanol is the most affordable renewable fuel option on the market today.”

The Iowa Corn 350, Powered by Ethanol, will take place Sunday, June 16, 2024, and be shown live on USA Network. This inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Iowa Speedway culminates a weekend that will also include a NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday, June 15 and ARCA Menards Series racing on Friday June 14.

“The Iowa Corn 350, Powered by Ethanol, will give us as farmers a platform across the country to share the benefits of ethanol with consumers and fans,” said Jolene Riessen, a farmer from Ida Grove and the Iowa Corn Growers Association President. “We know that a partnership like this is unique and will be impactful! With the audience NASCAR captures, Iowa Corn will be able to share the benefits of ethanol while also showcasing farmers from our great state.”

Grandstand tickets and camping for the Iowa Corn 350, Powered by Ethanol, are already sold out and only a select number of tickets remain for the NASCAR Xfinity Series and ARCA Menards Series races. Remaining tickets can be purchased by visiting and fans looking to buy or sell reserved seats for the Iowa Corn 350, Powered by Ethanol, should visit SeatGeek, the Official Ticket Marketplace of NASCAR.

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Clariant Closes sunliquid® Bioethanol Plant in Romania

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Global specialty chemical company Clariant is shutting down its sunliquid® bioethanol production plant in Podari, Romania, and downsizing related activities of its Biofuels & Derivatives division in Germany.

After developing the sunliquid® technology, Clariant had taken the decision in 2017 to establish its own commercial sunliquid® plant in Podari, which began producing bioethanol in the second quarter of 2022. In July 2023, Clariant started a strategic evaluation of the options for the plant after it became clear that the plant did not achieve Clariant’s targeted operational parameters.

Clariant management has concluded that, given continued losses, the economics of the plant in Podari cannot justify for Clariant to continue ramp up which would require significant additional capital expenditure. Following today’s announcement, activities within the business line Biofuels & Derivatives that supported the development and ramp-up of the plant will be downsized. Required capabilities to maintain the technology and to fulfill existing contractual obligations will be kept.

In June 2022, Clariant had announced the first commercial cellulosic ethanol had been produced at the sunliquid® plant and that they had signed a multi-year agreement with Shell to supply the product. It was reported to supply approximately 50,000 tons of second-generation biofuels derived from 250,000 tons of locally sourced agricultural residues, primarily in the form of straw.

advanced biofuels, biofuels, Cellulosic, Ethanol, Ethanol News

US Ethanol Exports Rebounded in September

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U.S. ethanol exports were up 18% in September to 120.5 million gallons (mg), thanks in part to global denatured fuel sales reaching an 18-month high, according to the latest analysis from the Renewable Fuels Association.

Canada was our largest destination for the 30th consecutive month with exports of 60.4 mg, accounting for half of total sales despite a 3% decrease from August. Exports to the United Kingdom climbed 1% to 13.6 mg while Colombia cut its U.S. imports by 23% to 8.3 mg. Virtually all remaining ethanol exports were distributed among ten markets, with the largest volumes landing in Oman (7.8 mg, up from zero and the largest volume in nearly 4 years), Mexico (5.5 mg, +167% to a 5-month high), South Korea (5.1 mg, up from essentially zero), the United Arab Emirates (4.8 mg, up from zero), the European Union (3.9 mg, -28% to a 9-month low), and Jamaica (3.2 mg, +149% to a 7-month high). Brazil and India again were notably absent from the market. Year-to-date ethanol exports total 1.04 billion gallons, trailing last year by 3% at this time.

Exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS) also rebounded in September, up 9% to 1.03 million metric tons (mt). Mexico remained the number one destination for the 15th consecutive month with exports of 201,607 mt, despite a 14% decrease from August.

DDGS exports revived in Vietnam (139,553 mt, +6% to a 12-month high), South Korea (110,316 mt, +32% to a 5-month high), and Canada (63,359 mt, +7% to a 3-month high). The other half of September exported DDGS was distributed to 32 markets, with larger volumes heading to Indonesia (61,961 mt), the United Kingdom (61,807 mt), and Colombia (40,299 mt). Year-to-date U.S. DDGS exports total 8.09 million mt, which lags 6% behind last year at this time despite an upward trendline.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Michigan Advanced Biofuels Coalition Grows

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The Michigan Advanced Biofuels Coalition (MiABC) now represents land, air and sea with the addition of three new stakeholders that support sustainable carbon reduction solutions in three different transportation sectors. The new stakeholders are Gevo, Inc., Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision (SDEV) and Waterfront Petroleum Terminal Company.

“Interest in advanced biofuels continues to grow in Michigan as communities seek to reduce carbon emissions from air, ground and water transportation systems. Three new MiABC stakeholders share a vision of expanded biofuel availability in our state,” says Hanna Campbell, demand specialist for Michigan Soybean Committee (MSC), a founding member of MiABC.

Founded in 2022 by MSC and the Michigan Soybean Association, MiABC works to increase understanding and adoption of biodiesel and other advanced biofuels produced from renewable resources such as soybean oil.

advanced biofuels, aviation biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News

EPA Fines Iowa Ethanol Plant Under Clean Air Act

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fined POET Biorefining – Menlo LLC a $89,860 penalty for alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act.

According to EPA, the Menlo facility is a “major air emission source” that failed to comply with federally enforceable permit provisions intended to limit harmful releases of air pollution. After reviewing POET Biorefining facility records in 2022, EPA alleged that the company failed to properly operate the facility’s scrubber, which is designed to limit releases of volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants. In response to EPA’s findings, the company corrected the alleged violations and implemented procedures to ensure that the scrubber operates within required parameters.

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Iowa and Nebraska Push EPA for Final E15 Rule

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The attorney generals of Nebraska and Iowa this week filed a motion for summary to force the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize a rule allowing eight Midwest states to sell E15 year-round.

The motion says EPA’s lack of action on the waiver request filed by the states in April 2022 causes harm to the “public interest…public health…(and) also creates economic harms.”

“This entire dispute boils down to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency failing to meet a nondiscretionary deadline,” the motion reads, noting that the Clean Air Act requires EPA to issue a rule setting aside the waiver if requested by governors and requires that the rule be finalized within 90 days. “Now, more than 400 days later and more than a year after that 90-day period expired, EPA’s continued delay risks yet another year without the fuels the Governors requested—and that they are entitled to under the Act. Each day that this case continues, unresolved, is a day that EPA continues its now long-standing violating of the Clean Air Act.”

In addition to Iowa and Nebraska, the eight states also include Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

E15, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News

RFA Urges COP28 to Include Ethanol in Climate Change Fight

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As leaders from around the world convene this week in the United Arab Emirates to kick off the 2023 United Nations climate change conference (COP28), the Renewable Fuels Association is calling on U.S. delegates at the event to “prominently highlight the U.S. biofuels industry’s remarkable contributions to the fight against global climate change.”

RFA sent a letter to U.S. climate envoy John Kerry asking that U.S. leaders “…ensure renewable biofuels like ethanol are explicitly included in our nation’s plans to meet future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction commitments.”

Along with the letter, RFA submitted a brief white paper providing details on ethanol’s low-carbon benefits, the substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions achieved under the Renewable Fuel Standard, and the road ahead toward fully carbon-neutral ethanol.

“While biofuels like ethanol have already made extraordinary contributions in the fight against climate change, America’s farmers and biofuel producers have even more to offer,” RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper wrote. “A strong endorsement of biofuels by the U.S. delegation in Dubai would not only send a powerful signal to the global community, but it would also serve to unleash further innovation and investment in the U.S. biofuels sector. COP28 is a pivotal forum to outline the U.S. vision for low-carbon biofuels, and we look forward to continuing our work with you and the entire Biden administration to make that vision a reality.”

In the accompanying white paper on ethanol and carbon emissions, RFA Chief Economist Scott Richman laid out the groundbreaking 2021 net-zero pledge by RFA producer members and progress seen in the industry. He noted the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory estimates that ethanol reduces GHG emissions by up to 52% compared to gasoline, and that the carbon intensity of corn ethanol fell 23% from 2005 to 2019.

biofuels, Carbon, Environment, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Flex Fuel Fairness Act Introduced in House

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U.S. Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and Angie Craig (D-MN) this week introduced the Flex Fuel Fairness Act of 2023, designed to level the playing field for vehicles running on low-carbon liquid fuels, like ethanol.

“As we look toward a cleaner energy future with options to lower carbon emissions, it’s imperative to amplify solutions like flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) and ensure that they are included as a low-carbon option,” said Miller-Meeks. “FFVs provide more options for consumers and the U.S. supply chain and unlock increased use of lower-carbon liquid fuel blends containing higher levels of ethanol, like E30 and E85. I am proud to lead the ‘Flex Fuel Fairness Act of 2023,’ and level the playing field for FFVs as a practical alternative to Electric Vehicles.”

“Renewable fuels are a solution we can implement to combat climate change right now, and we know that flex fuel vehicles help Minnesotans save money at the pump, support family farmers and producers and help protect the environment,” said Craig. “That’s why I introduced this bipartisan bill with my colleague Rep. Miller-Meeks to expand flex-fuel vehicle production – and I’ll keep working to get our bill passed.”

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper says the legislation acknowledges the important emissions benefits of flex fuel vehicles and promotes the continued production of these popular automobiles. “This legislation would provide more clean vehicle options for consumers and give automakers more ways to comply with increasingly stringent vehicle emissions standards,” said Cooper. “By leveling the playing field for all clean vehicle technologies, this bill allows low-carbon liquid fuels like ethanol to work alongside clean electricity, electric vehicles, and other technologies to reduce emissions from transportation.”

The bill would help to level the playing field for FFVs by properly recognizing the emissions benefits associated with using E85 flex fuels (which contain 51-83 percent ethanol). A Senate version was filed this past summer by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Pete Ricketts (R-NE).

Cosponsors of the House bill include Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Derrick Van Orden (R-WI), and Brad Finstad (R-MN).

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Continuum Ag Launches Billion Bushel Challenge

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With an estimated six billion bushels expected to be used for ethanol production next year, Continuum Ag has set their sights on helping the industry SCORE (Carbon Intensity Score) over a billion bushels in 2024 with the Billion Bushel Challenge to help a million farmers improve their profitability via improved soil health.

“This is the start of something very big, and we are excited to partner with our fellow farmers to help them see the value in what we already are doing today, now is the time to be rewarded for producing low CI grain,” said Continuum’s VP of Sales & Seventh generation Iowa Heritage farmer, Chad Scebold. “Together, we will help empower their data and control the narrative – visibility and rewards make it worth a growers effort to implement sustainable farming practices to their operation.

With the Section 45Z Tax Credits biofuel manufacturers can earn 2025 tax credits by creating low carbon fuel, AND grain carbon intensity is the number one driver of this. The Billion Bushel Challenge drives awareness and participation around low carbon grain needed for biofuel producing, giving Farmers the visibility they need, the control of their premiums & the reward they deserve for growing low CI grain.

“Continuum Ag is working to activate and encourage farmers across the nation to better understand what’s going on under their feet and utilizing the power of technology to do so,” says Continuum Ag’s Founder & CEO Mitchell Hora.

Biofuels need low CI grain from farmers and farmers need biofuels, Continuum Ag believes that now is the time for farmers to lead the charge with the Billion Bushel Challenge to ensure visibility, control and rewards.

Continuum Ag launched the effort last week with a webinar. Listen to part of that here:
Continuum Ag Billion Bushel Challenge - Mitchell Hora and Chad Scebold (5:45)

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