NREL Report Provides Documentation of the Advanced Biorefinery Landscape

February 25, 2015

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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a report in January 2015 on the status of the non-starch ethanol and renewable hydrocarbon biofuels industry in the United States. The report, 2013 Survey of Non-Starch Ethanol and Renewable Hydrocarbon Biofuels Producers, is the first of its kind to provide publically available, open source documentation on the state of the advanced biorefinery landscape. It is the first in what is anticipated to be an annual survey of the industry, which will report on the progress over time of the development of biorefineries and bioenergy companies.

NREL surveyed 74 companies that reported they have commercial-scale biofuels production capacity or intend to have this capacity in the future as of December 31, 2013.These companies included producers of cellulosic ethanol, algae-derived ethanol, and renewable cellulosic gasoline and diesel. Researchers gathered details such as biorefinery stage of development, feedstock, and technology pathway. Data was then validated by experts from NREL and the U.S. Department of Energy and was compared with publically available data.

This initial report will serve to establish an industry baseline to compare growth and industry trends. Understanding where the industry stood in 2013 will help the Office in planning further research and development to further commercialize biofuels.

NREL’s biomass research program is funded by the Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office and is the largest national laboratory bioenergy program across the eleven Energy Department national laboratories that conduct bioenergy research. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office is focused on forming cost-share partnerships to develop and demonstrate technologies for advanced biofuels production.