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Summary:

Biofuel plants have been put on hold faster than your phone company’s tech support line. With corn and soy prices hitting record high prices and an ethanol glut flooding the market, ethanol’s profit margin per gallon has dropped to a meager 25 cents from $2. That’s […]

Biofuel plants have been put on hold faster than your phone company’s tech support line. With corn and soy prices hitting record high prices and an ethanol glut flooding the market, ethanol’s profit margin per gallon has dropped to a meager 25 cents from $2. That’s causing numerous ethanol and biodiesel plants to get put on hold or downright canceled. Hundreds of millions of gallons of production capacity and hundreds of millions of dollars in biofuel investments are now hanging in limbo, as investors hope prices will level out.

That’s not to say that ethanol is dead in the water. There’s a variety of positive reports coming out on the future of the industry — there’s reports that see a meaningful future for ethanol , as well reports saying ethanol could be deliver a better-than-expected energy return. Add in a healthy merger and acquisition market and biofuels will play a role in the future of weaning the U.S. off oil.

They’re just having some serious growing pains. Below we’ve mapped out specific biofuel plant hiccups complete with annotations. It’s a work in progress and we’ll be adding more plants as news comes in and please add any extra information in the comments.


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By Craig Rubens

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  1. Definitely a few issues at work here that need to be resolved as the market evolves but I can see one problem in the supply chain. While I see flexfuel vehicles on the road almost every day, I haven’t seen ethanol at any of the gas stations along my commute or where I do most of my other driving here in the Boston area.

  2. Mapping the Biofuels Deathwatch, Go Fish Leaves Online Video – GigaOM Wednesday, January 9, 2008

    [...] Edit Staff, Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 2:27 PM PT Comments (0) With corn and soy prices hitting record-high prices and an ethanol glut flooding the market, ethanol’s profit margin per gallon has dropped and biofuel plants across the country are being put on hold faster than your company’s tech support line. For a succinct view, check out the map over on Check on Earth2Tech. [...]

  3. A more viable use of ethanol in vehicles? :

    http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/18304/

  4. Earth2Tech Maps: 101 Cleantech Startups « Earth2Tech Monday, February 25, 2008

    [...] for those of you who are fans of our other maps, make sure to check out our Biofuels Deathwatch map and Coal Deathwatch map. Digg Stumble Reddit del.icio.us Email « Earth2Tech Week [...]

  5. Biofuels Can Be a Dirty Business « Earth2Tech Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    [...] Such media attention on the biofuel plants’ pollution is more bad news for new plant construction. With high corn prices, low ethanol prices and growing construction costs, it’s no wonder that so many biofuel plants are being put on hold. [...]

  6. Green energy is definitely the best solution in most cases. Technology like solar energy, wind power, fuel cells, zaps electric vehicles, EV hybrids, etc have come so far recently. Green energy even costs way less than oil and gas in many cases.

  7. Monsanto to Engineer Cellulosic Feedstock « Earth2Tech Monday, April 28, 2008

    [...] cellulosic ethanol, as food-based biofuels, especially corn, have taken a beating. There have been numerous frozen ethanol refinery projects and the public backlash in the food vs. fuel debate has further dampened food-based ethanol [...]

  8. Ethanol Deathwatch: POET Cancels Plant Plans « Earth2Tech Tuesday, May 6, 2008

    [...] We’ve added the company’s recent cancellation to our Biofuels Deathwatch map. [...]

  9. Research Recap » Blog Archive » Biofuels Policies Costly, Ineffective, Inflationary Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    [...] ethanol producers are struggling as a result of sharply higher corn prices. The report cites a biofuels deathwatch map from earth2tech.com that identifies 18 US biofuels plants that have either been put on hold or [...]

  10. Michael Donnelly Friday, July 18, 2008

    You ought to keep a running tally like they do at

    http://www.ml-implode.com

    You’ve done a Nice job

  11. Earth2Tech Maps: Biofuels Deathwatch | Info-Ethanol.Com Monday, July 21, 2008

    [...] More at Earth2Tech.com This entry was posted on Monday, July 21st, 2008 at 10:39 am and is filed under Ethanol News, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. [...]

  12. 101 Cleantech Startups @ Google Maps | greengrowthguys.com Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    [...] for those of you who are fans of our other maps, make sure to check out our Biofuels Deathwatch map and Coal Deathwatch [...]

  13. The Credit Crunch: Yet Another Pitfall for Ethanol « Earth2Tech Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    [...] a backlash in public opinion and political support. Quite a few plans for ethanol plants have been delayed or downright cancelled. But for the next generation of cellulosic ethanol, which in its early stage has been prohibitively [...]

  14. The Credit Crunch: Yet Another Pitfall for Ethanol [Earth2Tech - Start-Up News] | Internet Startups Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    [...] and a pull back from political and public good will. Quite a few plans for ethanol plants have been delayed or downright cancelled. But for the next generation of cellulosic ethanol, which in its early stage has been prohibitively [...]

  15. GreenTech Pastures mobile edition Friday, January 9, 2009

    [...] week. The state is among the leaders for ethanol plants closed. For the ghoul9ish among us, here’s a death map of shuttered ethanol plants. Some shut plants are NOT in the Midwest. By the end of 2008 corn prices had fallen to about [...]

  16. Biofuels Deathwatch: Pacific Ethanol, Nova Biosource Join the Bandwagon Sunday, April 5, 2009

    [...] April 5th, 2009 at 12:01 am in The ethanol industry just can’t catch a break. We started tracking plant closures more than a year ago, when record-high corn and soy prices and an ethanol glut had squeezed [...]

  17. Biofuel Makers Try to Settle Cars vs Cows – Technology Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    [...] in 2007-2008, despite high gasoline prices. One green tech blog, Earth2Tech, even started a “Biofuels Deathwatch Map” with a disturbing amount of [...]

  18. GetWeb – Biofuel Makers Try to Settle Cars vs Cows Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    [...] in 2007-2008, despite high gasoline prices. One green tech blog, Earth2Tech, even started a “Biofuels Deathwatch Map” with a disturbing amount of [...]

  19. Out In Africa » Go Green » Biofuel Makers Try to Settle ‘Cars vs. Cows’ Debate Thursday, May 7, 2009

    [...] in 2007-2008, despite high gasoline prices. One green-tech blog, Earth2Tech, even started a “Biofuels Deathwatch Map” with a disturbing amount of [...]

  20. Jason Macemore » Blog Archive » Starting green Thursday, June 25, 2009

    [...] company has also released maps for the Biofuels Deathwatch and the Coal Deathwatch. Posted by Jason Filed in Green [...]

  21. Experiencelate Friday, December 4, 2009

    Investigation Officer,actually garden newspaper transfer emerge lean clothes organise ordinary percent point incident assumption amongst war can additional publish than tall country whilst hope module account message senior parent fast edge reduce radio thought expert works upon meeting more leg welcome election citizen labour through indeed bear nearly terms complete demonstrate gentleman food attack such young apparent extremely fall while offence half much kid historical partner sing sing town area important notice family problem pupil television appointment week damage and associate dress previous afford until finance care star southern both clear signal

  22. Big Auto & Oil to DC: Relax on the Ethanol Blend Friday, January 8, 2010

    [...] is the top priority for Growth Energy in the face of a difficult year for the industry, with plants closed down and a slew of bankruptcies. But for earlier-stage cellulosic ethanol developers, more focus is on [...]

  23. BioFuelBox Goes Bust: Report Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    [...] modular micro-refineries,”) were being idled, shuttered and put up for sale (see our Biofuels Deathwatch map). BioFuelBox claimed at the time that it was already bringing in revenue and producing biodiesel at [...]

  24. But is it really possible to grow taller? I dunno, I’ve always been skeptical. People think I’m crazy but ah well aha ;) – please don’t flame me for being skeptical, I’m just curious :P

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