Japan receives first shipment of ETBE from US corn-based ethanol

Following a recent policy change by the Japanese Government, the country has received its first shipment of ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) made from US corn-based ethanol.

According to the US Grains Council (USGC), this first shipment to Japan marks the country’s new demand for US ethanol-based products, as well as a milestone in efforts to develop the US ethanol market internationally.

The policy change recognises the greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits of ETBE, which is a component of gasoline, and means that US corn-based ethanol is now able to be used in the production of ETBE to be imported into Japan.

The Asian nation will allow US ethanol to meet up to 44% of a total estimated annual demand of 217 million gallons of ethanol used in the production of ETBE, which equates to around 95.5 million gallons of ethanol.

Japan Biofuels Supply purchased the first shipment of ETBE from the US, which was unloaded at Chiba port near Tokyo, and then Wakayama port near Osaka.

The shipment of 13.5 million gallons is equal to 2 million bushels of corn demand, the USGC added.

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