The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday released final renewable fuel volume requirements for 2017 that call for a total of 19.28 billion gallons (72.98 billion litres) of biofuel to be used next year.

This is an increase from the 18.8 billion gallons the agency proposed in May. The requirement for advanced biofuel, including biomass-based diesel, cellulosic biofuel and other biofuels that achieves at least 50% lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions, was set at 4.28 billion gallons, up from the 4 billion gallons suggested in May. The quota for conventional biofuels like corn ethanol was increased to 15 billion gallons, thus meeting the target specified by Congress, from the 14.8 billion proposed previously.

The volumes for all categories of biofuels are higher compared to the 2016 levels. The EPA also confirmed the biomass-based diesel requirement for 2018 at 2.1 billion gallons.

The EPA is required to set annual volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) programme.

Ethanol industry group the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) welcomed the final rule. "We can all be thankful EPA has raised the conventional biofuel requirement to the 15 billion gallon level required by the statute. The move will send a positive signal to investors, rippling throughout our economy and environment," said its president and chief executive Bob Dinneen.



Featured image by US Environmental Protection Agency (