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US EPA adopts final 2011 renewable fuel standards

30 November 2010

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted the final 2011 percentage standards for the four fuels categories under the agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard program, known as RFS2.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) established the annual renewable fuel volume targets, reaching an overall level of 36 billion gallons in 2022. To achieve these volumes, EPA is required to adopt percentage-based renewable fuel standards for the following year by November 30 of the previous year. Based on the standard, each refiner, importer and non-oxygenate blender of gasoline or diesel determines the minimum volume of renewable fuel that it must ensure is used in its transportation fuel.

The final 2011 overall volumes and standards are:

Final 2011 RFS2 Fuel Volumes and Percentage Standards
ActualEthanol Equivalent
Cellulosic biofuels6.6 million gallons6.0 million gallons0.003%
Biomass-based diesel0.80 billion gallons1.20 billion gallons0.69%
Advanced biofuels1.35 billion gallons1.35 billion gallons0.77%
Total renewable fuels13.95 billion gallons13.95 billion gallons8.01%
† Percentage standards are based on ethanol-equivalent volumes, not actual volumes. The ethanol-equivalent volume is determined from the volumetric energy content of a biofuel in comparison to the volumetric energy content of denatured ethanol.

Compared to the earlier proposal, the adopted standards for cellulosic biofuels are at the bottom of the proposed range and significantly less than the 2011 EISA target of 250 million gallons. EPA reduced the target based on the analysis of market availability of cellulosic biofuels.

Source: US EPA