The US Ethanol and Biofuels Boom: Its Origins, Current Status, and Future Prospects

Tyner, Wallace E.
July 2008
BioScience;Jul/Aug2008, Vol. 58 Issue 7, p646
Academic Journal
This article explains why we are experiencing a boom in ethanol and other biofuels, the current status of biofuels, and prospects for the future under different policy regimes. I argue that today's boom is in a sense an unintended consequence of a fixed ethanol subsidy that was keyed to $20-per-barrel crude oil, combined with a surge in crude oil prices--initially to $60 per barrel, and later doubling to $120 per barrel. Future prospects for corn ethanol depend on the crude oil price, the price of corn and distillers' grains, the market value of ethanol, plant capital and operating costs, and federal ethanol and biofuels policies. I examine the impacts of a wide range of policies for subsidies and renewable fuels standards. Policy choices will be absolutely critical in determining the extent to which biofuels targets are achieved and at what cost. However, if the price of oil remains above $100 per barrel, biofuels will continue to be produced even without government interventions.


Related Articles

  • Fuelling the dilemma. Venables, Mark // Engineering & Technology (17509637);5/10/2008, Vol. 3 Issue 8, p52 

    This article deals with the recent US policy that thrusts biofuel, and particularly ethanol, into the limelight as a fuel of the future for transportation. The production and use of biofuels have entered a new era of global growth, experiencing acceleration in both the scale of the industry and...

  • Cellulosic biofuels still long way off. Bechman, Tom J. // Wisconsin Agriculturist;Nov2011, Vol. 242 Issue 11, p54 

    The article reports that the biofuels industry will not meet the production of 16 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually by 2022 required by the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) without advancement in technology or investment.

  • Bio-fuel:. Marphatia, Ravi // Paintindia;May2008, Vol. 47 Issue 5, p66 

    The article covers issues related to bio-fuel in India as of May 2008. A joint venture company will be formed by Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL) with Nandan Biomatix Ltd. and Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd. to grow jatropha and karanja plants in Uttar Pradesh to produce oil. The move to...

  • Pretreatment of Whole-Crop Harvested, Ensiled Maize for Ethanol Production. M. Thomsen; J. Holm-Nielsen; P. Oleskowicz-Popiel; A. Thomsen // Applied Biochemistry & Biotechnology;Mar2008, Vol. 148 Issue 1-3, p23 

    Abstract  To have all-year-round available feedstock, whole-crop maize is harvested premature, when it still contains enough moisture for the anaerobic ensiling process. Silage preparation is a well-known procedure for preserving plant material. At first, this method was applied to obtain...

  • Toughtimes. Shaw, Charlie // ICIS Chemical Business;10/8/2007, Vol. 272 Issue 13, p5 

    The article reports that it has been a difficult nine months for European bioethanol producers, and opinions are mixed about the market's prospects. Producers have had a hard time making any profit because of growing production costs, the burden of which they have struggled to pass on to...

  • Buying the biofuel argument. Thomson, James // BRW;9/21/2006, Vol. 28 Issue 37, p12 

    The article presents a report called Global Focus on Biofuels from Rabobank which shows the conditions of the alternative fuels industry in Australia. The Australian alternative fuel industry faces a number of hurdles. These include consumer acceptance, cooperation from the automotive companies...

  • Food companies attack biofuels. Wilson, Mike // Irish Farmers Monthly;Jul2008, p18 

    The article reports on the anti-biofuel propaganda campaign funded by the Grocery Manufacturing Association (GMA) in the U.S. With the help from oil and environmental groups, the GMA has hired a high-profile agency to bring pressure on Congress to lower federal mandates that promote the use of...

  • Fuel processor. Kibbe, Cindy // New Hampshire Business Review;5/22/2009, Vol. 31 Issue 11, p4 

    The article reports on the development of biofuel from cellulose by a biofuels research company Mascoma Corp. in the U.S. The development of a high field ethanol brings the company one step closer to their aim. Apart from the development of the research, the process is found to have reduced...

  • Biofuel: Brazilian Leadership. Hirata, Flavio // Farm Chemicals International;Jun2007, Vol. 21 Issue 5, p34 

    The article provides an overview on the production of biofuel in Brazil. The country produces alcohol from sugarcane and develops bio-kerosene from oily plants for airplane fuel. An estimated one million people are employed in sugarcane cultivation. In June 2005, the market share of automobiles...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics