Global production of biofuels increased 17% in 2010 to reach an all-time high of 105 billion liters, up from 90 billion liters in 2009. High oil prices, a global economic rebound and new laws and mandates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China and the U.S., among other countries, are all factors behind the surge in production, according to research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute’s climate and energy program for the website Vital Signs Online.
The U.S. and Brazil remain the two largest producers of ethanol. In 2010, the U.S. generated 49 billion liters, or 57% of global output, and Brazil produced 28 billion liters, – 33% of the total. Corn is the primary feedstock for U.S. ethanol, and sugarcane is the dominant source of ethanol in Brazil.