As Australia continues to embrace job-creating, investment-bringing biofuels in Queensland, the U.S. hits a milestone celebrating 5 years that E15 has been on the market. Details on these and more stories ahead in your weekly news roundup!

Queensland government supports proposed biorefinery

A new biorefinery project has been proposed in the Atherton Tablelands of Queensland, Australia, and the regional government is throwing its support behind the new multi-million dollar project.

The $60 million Atherton Tableland biorefinery could generate 130 regional jobs and encourage diverse cropping in the region. The proposed MSF Sugar biorefinery is part of a multimillion dollar investment project in Queensland into 21st century biofutures plants that combined could generate 330 jobs in Queensland.

“Powered by an onsite bagasse-fueled 24 MW Green Power station, the combined biorefinery complex is expected to produce 110,000 tons of raw sugar, 200,000 MW of green electricity for the grid and 55 million liters of ethanol biofuel annually,” said Dr. Anthony Lynham, minister for State Development.

The Queensland government of Annastacia Palaszczuk aims to develop a $1 billion sustainable, export-orientated biotechnology and bioproducts sector. Read more about the project at Bioenergy News.

Five years of E15 in the US marketplace

Five years ago this week, 15% ethanol (E15) blends debuted in the U.S. marketplace, offering consumers a new lower-cost, higher-octane fuel option at the pump.

On July 10, 2012, Kansas became the first in the nation to offer E15. Since that time, the growth of E15 availability has expanded, with nearly 900 stations in 29 states currently offering the fuel blend.

In June 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave final approval for the sale and use of E15 in light duty vehicles made since 2001, representing nearly 90% of today’s automotive fleet. Meanwhile, manufacturers of more than 80% of the new vehicles sold in 2017 clearly list E15 as an approved fuel.

“We look forward to the continued growth of E15 throughout our nation and enhancing the ability of American drivers to choose a fuel that is better for their pocketbook, better for the environment, and better for engine performance,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen.

Since the first gallon of E15 was pumped five years ago, more than 1 billion trouble-free miles have been driven on the fuel. Read more at the Renewable Fuels Association.

EIA revises 2017, 2018 ethanol production forecasts

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the July edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, slightly dropping its 2017 and 2018 ethanol production forecasts.

The EIA now predicts ethanol production will average 1.02 million barrels per day this year, falling to 1.01 million barrels per day next year. In 2016, ethanol production averaged 1 million barrels per day.

In its report, the EIA notes that if the current prediction for this year is realized, the U.S. will set a new record for annual ethanol production.

Ethanol consumption averaged approximately 940,000 barrels per day last year, and is expected to increase slightly this year and next year. This level of consumption is expected to result in the ethanol share of the total gasoline pool increasing to nearly 10.1 percent in both 2017 and 2018.

Learn more at Ethanol Producer Magazine.

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Geoff Hayward

Communications Advisor at Novozymes
Geoff writes about Bioenergy for the Communications team at Novozymes. When he isn’t advocating for an industry that’s changing the world for the better, he can be found on a North Carolina bike path or playing slide guitar.