EIA releases first Biofuels Capacity and Feedstocks Update

By Erin Voegele | March 31, 2021

The U.S. Energy Information Administration on March 31 issued the first edition of its monthly Biofuels Capacity and Feedstocks Update, reporting that 20.431 billion gallons of operable U.S. biofuel production capacity was in place as of January. More than 24.657 billion pounds of feedstock was used to produce biofuels during the month.

The 20.431 billion gallons of biofuel production capacity reported for January included 17.339 billion gallons of fuel alcohol capacity, 2.301 billion gallons of biodiesel capacity, and 791 million gallons of capacity for other biofuels. The category of other biofuels includes renewable diesel, renewable heating oil, renewable jet fuel, renewable naphtha, renewable gasoline and other renewable fuels.

According to the EIA, corn was the most used biofuel feedstock in January at 23.237 billion pounds, followed by soybean oil at 683 million pounds, yellow grease at 263 million pounds, corn oil at 213 million pounds, tallow at 84 million pounds, white grease at 53 million pounds, and poultry fat at 34 million pounds. An addition 84 million pounds of feedstock categorized as “other” feedstocks went to biofuel production in January. Data for yard and food waste, canola oil and grain sorghum feedstocks were withheld to avoid disclosure of individual company data.

The EIA’s Petroleum Supply Monthly report, also released on March 31, shows that refinery and blender net inputs of total renewable fuels was at 25.472 million barrels in January. That volume includes 23.842 million barrels of fuel ethanol, 1.503 million barrels of renewable diesel and biodiesel fuel, and 127,000 barrels of other renewable fuels.

EIA data indicates no fuel ethanol was imported into the U.S. during January. The U.S. did, however, import 228,000 barrels of biomass-based diesel and 771,000 barrels of other renewable diesel during the month.

U.S. stocks of fuel ethanol were at 26.08 million barrels in January, with stocks of renewable diesel and biodiesel at 6.284 million barrels and stocks of other biofuels at 136,000 barrels.