The ethanol fuel production capacity in the US has increased for the third year in a row, reaching almost 15 billion gallons per year, or 973,000 barrels per day at the start of 2016, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said last week.

This is up by more than 500 million gallons/year when compared with January 2015.

The majority of the country's 195 ethanol plants are concentrated in the Midwest. Iowa is the largest producer, followed by Nebraska and Illinois. These three states are home to roughly 50% of the US’ ethanol fuel capacity.

According to EIA's August Short-Term Energy Outlook, the US is expected to produce 15.1 billion gallons of fuel ethanol in 2016, which represents slightly more than 100% utilization of nameplate capacity as of January 1, 2016. Many ethanol plants can operate at levels above nameplate capacity, if enticed by market conditions.

In 2015, the US produced 14.8 billion gallons of fuel ethanol.


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Featured image by U.S. Energy Information Administration, Fuel Ethanol Plant Production Capacity