Did you know these ethanol facts?

by Suzi Fraser
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• Ethanol production is the third largest and fastest growing market for U.S. corn.

• More than 900,000 U.S. farmers are members of ethanol production cooperatives. Since 1990, farmer-owned cooperatives have been responsible for half of all new production capacity in the U.S.

• The largest ethanol plant construction boom in the history of the industry was sparked by the announcement that California would not be granted a special waiver from the CAA oxygenate requirement (see "Rough road ahead for ethanol expansion" World Grain, January, 2003; E-Archive #59992). Twelve new ethanol plants came on stream in 2002 — more than twice as many plants completed than in any previous year. Together with six expansions to existing facilities, more than 400 million gallons of production capacity were added to the industry.

• Ethanol is good news for feed manufacturers: in 2002, more than 800 million bushels of corn were processed into ethanol and feed co-products. In addition, 45 million bushels of grain sorghum were also used in the production of ethanol.

• Approximately 60% of U.S. ethanol production is dry milled, producing as a by-product 3.6 million tonnes of Distillers Dried Grains.

• Ethanol wet mills produced approximately 336,000 tonnes of corn gluten meal, 1.8 tonnes of corn gluten feed and germ meal.

• 1 bushel (0.0254 tonnes) of corn yields 2.7 gallons of ethanol, 14.4 Kg starch, 5 Kg gluten feed, 1.4 Kg gluten meal and .72 L corn oil.

• Use of ethanol fuel is limited by the scarcity of fuelling stations; there are only about 140 in 22 primarily Midwestern states. But this is set to change: in February 2003, General Motors Corp. announced a multi-million dollar campaign to promote the use of corn-based ethanol fuel E85 as an alternative to gasoline. The public awareness effort is a 2-year partnership with the non-profit National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) focused on increasing ethanol use in "flexible fuel vehicles" that are designed to use either ethanol or gasoline.

• World consumption of ethanol is forecast to grow between 2% to 3% a year over the next three years. The report, "Ethanol-The International Market 2002" (published by Gobi International), forecasts that the global ethanol market will be worth over US$16 billion by 2005, when total global consumption is expected to be over 41 billion liters, with the largest consuming regions being South America and Asia.

To learn more about ethanol, visit the following websites:

Renewable Fuels Association: www.ethanolrfa.org

The RFA Industry Outlook 2002 may be downloaded from: www.ethanolrfa.org/outlook2003.shtml

National Corn Growers Association: www.ncga.com

Gobi International: www.gobi.co.uk

Clean Fuels Development Coalition: www.cleanfuelsdc.org

The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition: www.e85fuel.com

Canadian Renewable Fuels Association: www.greenfuels.org