The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has increased blending volumes for total renewable fuel and cellulosic and advanced biofuels under its finalised 2019 renewable volume requirements (RVOs) released on 30 November, Ethanol Producer magazine reported.

The 2019 RVO will be 418M gallons (1,582M litres) for cellulosic biofuel; 4.92bn gallons (18.6bn litres) for advanced biofuel; and 19.92bn gallons (75.4bn litres) for total renewable fuel. Compared to the 2018 RVOs, the 2019 requirement for cellulosic biofuels was nearly 130M gallons (492M litres) higher, with the RVO for advanced biofuel up 630M gallons, (2,385M litres), Ethanol Producer said.

Conventional biofuel volumes, mostly corn ethanol, were maintained at the implied 15bn gallons (57bn litres) statutory target for 2019.

The 2019 RVOs would require total renewable fuel to comprise 10.97% of US transportation, including 2.71% advanced biofuel, 1.73% biomass-based diesel and 0.23% cellulosic biofuel.

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said it was pleased that the EPA has maintained the 15bn gallon target for conventional fuel and included modest increases for advanced and cellulosic biofuels.

However, it added the rule did not account for any small refiner exemptions the agency expected to issue in 2019.

“Hopefully, that means EPA is not intending to issue any small refiner waivers at all in 2019 because it knows there is no rationale or basis for doing so,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the RFA.