NREL 2015 Survey of Non-Starch Ethanol and Renewable Hydrocarbon Biofuels Producers

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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. This report presents the results of this survey update, describes the survey methodology, and documents important changes since the original 2013 survey published at the end of 2014 (Schwab et al. 2015).

The authors selected 114 companies because of their reported commercial-scale biofuels production capacity (or intentions of developing commercial-scale production capacity) during calendar year 2015. They asked representatives from these companies a standard set of questions during the second half of 2015. The questionnaire topics included facility stage of development, facility scale, feedstock, and biofuel products. Industry experts from NREL and the U.S. Department of Energy validated the responses and compared them with publicly available data. The authors supplemented missing survey data elements (when possible) with publicly available data obtained directly from company websites, press releases, and public filings. Sixty-one facilities with sufficient data were included in this report. Twenty-nine non-starch ethanol facilities (27 cellulosic ethanol facilities plus 2 algal-derived ethanol facilities) and 32 renewable hydrocarbon facilities were obtained or researched and validated to justify inclusion of these facilities in this survey report. Eleven (5 at the commercial scale) of the 29 non-starch ethanol facilities were operational in 2015, and 12 (2 at the commercial scale) of the 32 renewable hydrocarbon facilities were operational in 2015.

Amy Schwab, Ethan Warner, and John Lewis - National Renewable Energy Laboratory
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