The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) updated its annual survey of U.S. non-starch ethanol and renewable hydrocarbon biofuels producers. The survey report, titled 2015 Survey of Non-Starch Ethanol and Renewable Hydrocarbon Biofuels Producers, documents important changes (e.g., biorefinery development, production capacity, feedstock use, and technology pathways) that have occurred since the publication of the original 2013 survey. Released in January 2016, the report provides an inventory of the domestic advanced biofuels production industry as of the end of calendar year 2015.
During 2015, NREL surveyed 114 companies that were reported to be pursuing commercial-scale biofuel production capacity. Companies were classified as either non-starch (cellulosic or algae-derived) ethanol producers or renewable hydrocarbon producers. The questionnaire included topics such as facility stage of development, facility scale, feedstock, and biofuel products. Industry experts from NREL and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) validated the results and then compared them with publicly available data.
This update provides continued insight as to the current status of the non-starch ethanol and renewable hydrocarbon biofuels industry in the United States, including industry choices and direction. This will ultimately help inform research and development efforts aimed at producing cost-competitive advanced biofuels from non-food biomass resources.
NREL’s biomass research program is funded by DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and is the largest national laboratory bioenergy program across the Energy Department’s eleven national laboratories that conduct bioenergy research. BETO is focused on forming cost-share partnerships to develop and demonstrate technologies for advanced biofuels production.