EIA: US biofuel capacity, feedstock consumption up in May

By Erin Voegele | August 11, 2021

U.S. biofuel production capacity expanded slightly in May, reaching 20.795 billion gallons, up from 20.777 billion gallons in April. Total feedstock consumption was approximately 26.768 billion pounds in May, up from 24.296 billion pounds in April.

The data was released on July 30 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration as part of the agency’s Monthly Biofuels Capacity and Feedstock Update.

Fuel alcohol production capacity held steady at 17.396 billion gallons in May. Biodiesel capacity expanded by 18 million gallons, reaching 2.428 billion gallons in May, up from 2.41 billion gallons in April. Production capacity for other biofuels, which includes renewable diesel, renewable heating oil, renewable naphtha, renewable gasoline and other renewable fuels, also held steady at 971 million gallons in May.

A total of 25.136 billion pounds of corn went to U.S. biofuel production in May, up from 22.871 billion pounds in in April. An additional 12 million pounds of grain sorghum was used to produce biofuel in May. The volume of sorghum consumed as biofuel feeddstock April was withheld by the EIA to avoid disclosure of individual company data.

According to the EIA, 32 million pounds of poultry fat, 119 million pounds of beef tallow, 59 million pounds of white grease, 270 million pounds of yellow grease, and 6 million pounds of other waste oils fats and greases went to biofuel production in May. Consumption of those feedstocks was at 36 million pounds, 93 million pounds, 64 million, pounds 248 million pounds, and 3 million pounds, respectively, in April.

Approximately 257 million pounds of corn oil went to biofuel production in May, up from 211 million pounds in April. An additional 788 million pounds of soybean oil was used to produce biofuel in May, up from 700 million pounds in April. Data on canola oil use in biofuel production was withheld by the EIA in both April and May to avoid disclosure of individual company data.

In addition, approximately 89 million pounds of feedstock classified as “other” was used to produce biofuel in May, up from 70 million pounds in April.