Global production of biofuels increased 17 percent in 2010 to reach an all-time high of 105 billion liters (28 billion gallons US, 667 million barrels of oil), up from 90 billion liters (24 billion gallons US) in 2009.
Biofuels provided 2.7% of all global fuel for road transportation—an increase from 2% in 2009. The two biofuel alternatives to fossil fuels for transportation largely consist of ethanol and biodiesel. The world produced 86 billion liters (23 billion gallons US) of ethanol in 2010, 18% more than in 2009. World biodiesel production rose to 19 billion liters (5 billion gallons US) in 2010, a 12% increase from 2009.
The United States and Brazil remain the two largest producers of ethanol. In 2010, the United States generated 49 billion liters, or 57 percent of global output, and Brazil produced 28 billion liters, or 33 percent of the total. Corn is the primary feedstock for U.S. ethanol, and sugarcane is the dominant source of ethanol in Brazil.
* Due to unsteady ethanol production in Brazil in 2010, the United States became a net exporter of the fuel for the first time, sending a record 1.3 billion liters abroad, a 300-percent increase over 2009.
* Sugarcane ethanol supplies 41.5 percent of the energy (48 percent of the volume) for light-duty transportation fuels in Brazil.
* Asia produced 12 percent of the world’s biodiesel in 2010, a 20-percent increase from 2009, mostly using palm oil feedstock in Indonesia and Thailand.
* Virtually all of the 1.5 billion liters of Argentina’s biodiesel exports, representing 71 percent of total production, went to Europe.
* Canada has national mandates for the production of E5 (5 percent ethanol and 95 percent gasoline) and B2 (2 percent ethanol and 98 percent gasoline), and four Canadian provinces have individual mandates up to E8.5.
* In the United States, eliminating the $0.54 per gallon import tariff and $0.45 per gallon blenders’ credit would reduce the ethanol industry’s profits by 7 percent and its margins by 20 percent, according to the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.
* Brazil plans to build 103 new sugarcane mills by 2019, increasing production capacity by 66 percent.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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