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Companies in this industry produce ethyl alcohol, known as ethanol, and biodiesel fuel. Major biofuel producers include US-based Aventine Renewable Energy and Green Plains Renewable Energy; Cosan and Copersucar (headquartered in Brazil); and Abengoa (Spain), as well as units of traditional fuel makers like Valero and Chevron and crop processors like Archer Daniels Midland and Bunge Limited (all based in the US).
Worldwide, the biofuel market generates about $95 billion in revenue, according to Clean Edge. The US, Brazil, the EU, China, and Argentina are the largest biofuel manufacturers. Global production is expected to increase due to concerns about the environment and fossil fuel dependence. New government tax incentives and subsidies also are expected to boost the industry.
The US biofuel manufacturing industry includes about 300 companies with combined annual revenue of more than $30 billion. Key growth drivers include new markets for byproducts, higher demand for eco-friendly fuel, and investment in next-generation biofuels.
Demand is driven by motor vehicle use and federal requirements that ethanol be blended into gasoline. The profitability of biofuel production facilities depends on prices of gasoline and diesel, which fluctuate based on world petroleum demand and domestic refinery use. Economies of scale in ethanol production are limited due to the transportation costs associated with gathering feedstocks (corn and other biomasses) and transporting the ethanol to blending sites. Small companies can compete effectively by developing business relations ...
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