USA: Non starch ethanol and renewable biofuels producers, the 2015 NREL survey

www.business.conbio.info / Lennart Ljungblom /2016-03-18

USA: Non starch ethanol and renewable biofuels producers, the 2015 NREL survey

In order to understand the anticipated status of the industry for non-starch ethanol and renewable hydrocarbon biofuels as of the end of calendar year 2015, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) updated its annual survey of U.S. non-starch ethanol and renewable hydrocarbon biofuels producers. 114 companies were selected because of their reported commercial-scale biofuels production capacity (or intentions of developing commercial-scale production capacity) during calendar year 2015. The report was produced by Amy Schwab, Ethan Warner and John Lewis at the National Renewable Energy laboratory (NREL).

get Sixty-one facilities with sufficient data were included in the report.

In all, data were compiled for 61 facilities operated by 49 companies (10 of the companies operated multiple facilities.) Data updates were compiled through early December 2015.

Twenty-nine non-starch ethanol facilities (27 cellulosic ethanol facilities plus 2 algal-derived ethanol facilities) and 32 renewable hydrocarbon facilities.

Eleven (5 at the commercial scale) of the 29 non-starch ethanol facilities and 12 (2 at the commercial scale) of the 32 renewable hydrocarbon facilities were operational in 2015.

view A. Ethanol producing projects

Several U.S. facilities began producing cellulosic ethanol during the 2014/2015 timeframe that resulted in the assignment of a renewable identification number (RIN) . In 2014, about 0.7 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol were produced and for 2015 until November, about 2.0 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol were produced.

see Technology 

randomly assign Feedstock Category

home page Operational Year 

page Abengoa

Hugoton, KS

Biochemical

Crop Residues

23

enter Ace Ethanol (Sweetwater Energy, Inc.)

Stanley, WI

Biochemical

Corn Kernel Cellulose

3.5

[2017]

Clinton, NC

Biochemical

Dedicated Energy Crops

20

[2017]

follow link Canergy

Brawley, CA

Biochemical

Dedicated Energy Crops

25

[2017]

Nevada, IA

Biochemical

Crop Residues

30

page 2015

Enerkem

Pontotoc, MS

Thermochem Gasification

Municipal solid waste (MSW)

10

[2020]

Front Range Energy (Sweetwater Energy Inc.)

Windsor, CO

Biochemical

Cellulosic Sugars

3.6

[2017]

INEOS New Planet Bioenergy LLCa

Vero Beach, FL

Hybrid Bio-/Thermochem.

MSW

8

[2012 – 2016]

Pacific Ethanol (Sweetwater Energy Inc.)

Madera, CA

Biochemical

Corn Kernel Cellulose

3.6

[2017]

POET

Emmetsburg, IA

Biochemical

Crop Residues

25

2015

Quad County Corn

Galva, IA

Biochemical

Corn Kernel Cellulose

3.8

2014

ZeaChem

Boardman, OR

Biochemical

Woody Biomass

22

[2017]

Table 1. Status of Commercial-Scale Cellulosic Ethanol Capacity in the United States at the End of 2015 (INEOS became operational in 2012 but was idled in 2015 while working on mechanical improvements and was expected to resume operations in 2016.)

As one can se below the biochemical technology pathway is most used. Two use a thermochemical gasification pathway, two using hybrids and two an algae pathway for the direct production ethanol.

Characteristics of non-starch ethanol facilities (NREL 2015)

Characteristics of non-starch ethanol facilities (NREL 2015)

B. Hydrocarbon Biorefineries in USA

The total installed U.S. commercial capacity for renewable hydrocarbons at year-end 2015 was approximately 255 million gallons per year. Only 167 million gallons per year of capacity were operational at the end of 2015.

There were two previously producing plants that no longer produce renewable hydrocarbon biofuels at commercial scale. One plant, KiOR, was producing in 2013, but was idled in 2014. Another plant, Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (formerly idled Dynamic Fuels) was in the process of start-up2 in early 2015 before idling due to a fire.

Company

Project Location

Technology Pathway

Feedstock Category

Capacity [MMGY]

Operational Year [Anticipated]

AltAir Fuels

Los Angeles, CA

Hydrotreating/ Isomerization

Vegetable Oils, Fats, and Greases

30

2015

Cool Planet Energy Systemsa

Alexandria, LA

Thermochemical Pyrolysis

Woody Biomass

10

[2017]

Diamond Green Diesel

Norco, LA

Hydrotreating/ Isomerization

Vegetable Oils, Fats, and Greases

137

2013

Emerald Biofuels

Plaquemine, LA

Hydrotreating/ Isomerization

Vegetable Oils, Fats, and Greases

82

[2017]

Fulcrum BioEnergy

Reno, NV

Thermochemical Gasification

MSW

10

[2017]

KiOR

Columbus, MS

Thermochemical Pyrolysis

Woody Biomass

13

2013 (idled in 2014)

Red Rock Biofuels

Lakeview, OR

Thermochemical Gasification

Woody Biomass

15.5

[2017]

Renewable Energy Group, Inc.

Geismar, LA

Hydrotreating/ Isomerization

Vegetable Oils, Fats, and Greases

75

[2016]

SG Preston

South Point, OH

Hydrotreating/ Isomerization

Vegetable Oils, Fats, and Greases

120

[2020]

SG Preston

Logansport, IN

Hydrotreating/ Isomerization

Vegetable Oils, Fats, and Greases

120

[2020]

Sundrop Fuels

Boyce, LA

Thermochem Gasification

Woody Biomass

200

[2020]

Table 2: The status of U.S. renewable hydrocarbon capacity as of the end of 2015.

Figure 2 below summarises the characteristics of the 32 renewable hydrocarbon facilities included in this survey report and shows the various combinations of technology pathways and feedstocks being pursued at these renewable hydrocarbon facilities.

Renewable hydrocarbon biofuel facilities in USA 2015 (NREL)

Fig 2. Renewable hydrocarbon biofuel facilities in USA 2015 (NREL)

www.business.conbio.info / Lennart Ljungblom /2016-03-18