Iowa, the leading ethanol producing state in the US, had another record year for ethanol output in 2017, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) said at the end of December.

The 43 ethanol plants in the state produced 4.2 billion (15.9 bln litres) gallons last year, up slightly from 4.1 billion gallons in 2016. The increase reflects several plant expansions, and more demand for exports and higher blends like E15, IRFA said.

According to IRFA executive director Monte Shaw, production could rise again in 2018 as several plant expansions have just been completed or will be in the first quarter of 2018. “That makes expanding export markets abroad and breaking down unnecessary barriers to E15 here at home top priorities,” Shaw added.

At state level, IRFA will work in 2018 towards securing funding for the programme that helps retailers get the equipment needed to offer higher blends.

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