By Susanne Retka Schill, Ethanol Producer Magazine.
Cellulosic biofuel production took a giant leap in 2014, mostly from renewable natural gas and not so much from the two commercial-scale ethanol facilities brought online last year. In July, the U.S. EPA announced that cellulosic biogas used as transportation fuel could earn D3 RINs and in one month’s time, D3 RINs generation soared from the 4,000 recorded for July to 3.49 million for August. In September, that more than doubled to 7.56 million. The total for the year stood at 33.02 million D3 RINs. Of that, 683,000 came from cellulosic ethanol.
RINs are the renewable identification numbers used to identify and track biofuel production that obligated parties need to demonstrate blending for compliance with the renewable fuel standard (RFS). D3 is the RIN code for cellulosic biofuel, which includes ethanol, renewable diesel and, now, renewable natural gas.