Six states accounted for 72% of U.S. fuel ethanol production in 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The states produced 265 million barrels of fuel ethanol out of the total U.S. production amount of 367 million barrels.
The top six states are among the top 10 U.S. producers of corn, the primary feedstock for ethanol production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The top six ethanol producers are Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana and South Dakota.
Between 2006 and 2016, fuel ethanol production more than doubled after the Energy Policy Act of 2005 created the Renewable Fuel Standard. By 2010, most motor gasoline sold in the United States was blended with 10% fuel ethanol. Recently, export growth has led to continued increases in domestic fuel ethanol production.
Iowa can produce more than 102 million barrels of fuel ethanol annually. The state has about 19% of total U.S. ethanol production capacity, and 256 public E85 stations, the third most in the United States. E85 is a gasoline-ethanol blend of between 51% and 83% ethanol.
Nebraska has an annual production capacity of more than 50 million barrels of fuel ethanol, the second-highest level in the nation. Each year, the state’s 26 ethanol plants use more than 700 million bushels of corn and produce more than 6 million tons of distillers’ grains, which are used to feed cattle.
Illinois can produce up to 40 million barrels of ethanol per year, the third-highest capacity, and has 262 E85 stations, the second most in the United States. Minnesota has an ethanol production capacity of 28 million barrels per year, and nearly 400 E85 stations, the most in the United States. Indiana and South Dakota each can produce more than 27 million barrels of ethanol annually. South Dakota consumes about 50 million gallons of fuel ethanol annually and is a major supplier to other states.