Global cellulosic ethanol is expected to increase from 14 million gallons in 2012 to 412 million gallons in 2020. Commercial production to take off on a large scale in 2014.
02 January 2014
Cellulosic ethanol market to take off, U.S. leads
Global cellulosic ethanol is expected
to increase from 14.2 million gallons
in 2012 to 412 million gallons in
2020, with commercial production
anticipated to take off on a large
scale in 2014. The U.S. is expected to
retain its market dominance, says a
GlobalData report. The growing
feedstock demand will create a
Ineos Bio, a Swiss firm, is the first company that got a
structured market. commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant up and running
in the U.S. this year. Photo: Ineos Bio
Cellulosic ethanol is the most widely acclaimed alternative or additive for gasoline used for running
vehicles. This environmentally friendly, non-food biofuel is produced through the fermentation of
cellulosic feedstock such as forest and agricultural waste.
Global cellulosic ethanol market is expected to increase, thanks to major players adding substantial
production capacity and new companies joining the market.
According to the latest report from research and consulting firm GlobalData, the U.S. is the global
leader in cellulosic ethanol production, manufacturing 5.42 million gallons in 2012. The key
countries considered for this report inlude the United States, Canada, Italy, France, Brazil and
The U.S. boasts an abundance of the biomass feedstock, and is the only country currently working
to promote the cellulosic ethanol market, with the Department of Energy (DOE) providing grants to
help companies establish a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant. As a result, several companies
have set up pilot and demonstration plants and a few commercial plants are expected to be
The U.S. have also mandated the addition of 10 percent ethanol in gasoline fuel, setting steady
domestic demand for the industry, while certain recently released cars are able to run on a 85
percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline mix.
Feedstock demand to create structured market
Corn stover and wheat straw are among the most freely available types of feedstock used in
countries producing cellulosic ethanol, and growing ethanol demand may see these nations utilizing
the residue of their corn crop for ethanol production, creating a sizable market for agricultural
GlobalData expects that the growing feedstock demand will create a structured market, in which
biomass feedstock prices will be set based on their ethanol yield and the prevailing trading price of
Some EU countries such as France and Italy have cellulosic ethanol production infrastructure, but a
limited supply of biomass feedstock.
Growth of commercial production in these countries may fuel the need to import feedstock from
nearby countries or expand production to other countries with ample feedstock availability.
A few producers with upcoming commercial scale plants in the U.S. have already started signing
agreements to procure agricultural residue and other kinds of cellulosic feedstock.
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