2015 was a good year for the ethanol industry for both production and blending.According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), U. ethanol producers increased their production 3.4 percent to 14.81 billion gallons in 2015, and refiners and blenders consumed 13.69 billion gallons (2.7 percent more), adding it to the U. gasoline supply.[i] (See Table below.) That consumption amounted to roughly 893,000 barrels of ethanol per day.Note that if all the ethanol produced in 2015 was blended into gasoline, ethanol’s 10.5 percent share would exceed the 10-percent blend wall.The blend wall is important because most automobile manufacturers will not warranty vehicles consuming more than 10-percent ethanol.If crude oil prices remain high, and we do not change federal biofuels policies, then U. corn-based ethanol production will likely rise to 14 billion gallons within five years. The only way that this level of corn production can be sustained is with high corn prices.
In 2012, the amount of corn used to produce ethanol in the United States exceeded the entire corn consumption of the continent of Africa and in any single country except China.[ii] The original argument of proponents of the Renewable Fuel Standard was that it would make the United States less dependent on oil imports.It is classified as "substantially similar" to gasoline by the U. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is legal for use in any gasoline-powered vehicle. There are several EPA requirements and regulations that stations must adhere to when selling E15.The use of E10 was spurred by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (and subsequent laws), which mandated the sale of oxygenated fuels in areas with unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide. The most significant requirement is an implementation of a misfueling mitigation plan.Misfueling—when the wrong fuel is used in a vehicle—is a concern for conventional vehicles older than model year 2001.While E15 also doesn't qualify as an alternative fuel under EPAct, it does help meet the federal Renewable Fuel Standard.