Top 10 Ethanol Companies | Renewable Fuel Provided

Trishita Deb
Trishita Deb

Updated · Apr 23, 2024


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Ethanol Market Overview

Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, is a renewable fuel derived from plant materials like corn and sugarcane. Produced through fermentation and distillation, it has the chemical formula C2H5OH.

Ethanol is found to be primarily used as a transportation fuel, either blended with gasoline or used in ethanol-only vehicles, known as flex-fuel vehicles.

Its renewable nature makes it a promising alternative to fossil fuels, with potential environmental benefits such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Ethanol’s production and consumption are influenced by government policies and market dynamics, with key producers including the United States and Brazil.

Market Drivers

Several factors drive the global ethanol market. Government policies and regulations, such as renewable fuel standards and incentives for biofuel production, encourage ethanol use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Environmental concerns, volatile crude oil prices, and technological advancements also play significant roles. Ethanol benefits from increasing demand for biofuels and growth in the automotive sector, particularly in emerging economies.

Additionally, consumer preferences for sustainable products drive demand for ethanol-blended fuels. These factors collectively shape the growth and dynamics of the global ethanol market.

Market Size

The ethanol market is projected to reach approximately USD 163.9 billion by 2032, up from USD 102.8 billion in 2022, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9% between 2022 and 2032.

List of Major Companies

These are the top ten companies operating in the Ethanol Market:


Company Overview

Establishment Year1986
HeadquarterSioux Falls, South Dakota, U.S.
Key ManagementJeff Broin (CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 6.5 Billion (2023)
Headcount~ 2,000 (2023)

About POET

POET, LLC, a key player in the ethanol industry, is actively expanding and adopting sustainable practices. The company notably increased its production capabilities with a major upgrade at its Marion, Ohio facility in 2017, doubling ethanol output and boosting local agriculture.

POET is also involved in carbon capture projects to reduce biofuel emissions, supporting its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Additionally, they are innovating with new plant-based bioproducts to promote a sustainable future, reinforcing their role in the renewable energy sector.

Geographical Presence

POET, LLC maintains a strong geographic presence across the United States. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, since its inception in 1987, POET strategically operates state-of-the-art biorefineries in the Midwest, including Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota, capitalizing on the region’s abundant agricultural resources, particularly corn.

With expansions into states like Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, as well as emerging markets like California, POET strategically positions itself to meet both local and national demand for sustainable energy solutions, driving innovation and environmental stewardship while contributing to economic growth.

Recent Developments

  • In January 2024, POET and Summit Carbon Solutions formed a groundbreaking partnership, linking the world’s largest biofuel producer with the world’s largest carbon capture and storage project, marking a significant advancement for agriculture and biofuels.
  • In June 2021, POET acquired all of Flint Hills Resources’ bioethanol assets, boosting its production capacity by 40%.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1980
HeadquarterSan Antonio, Texas, United States
Key ManagementLane Riggs (President & CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 176.3 B (2022)
Headcount~ 10,015 (2022)

About Valero Energy

Valero Energy Corporation, an international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels and petrochemical products, has been actively involved in expanding its operations in the ethanol sector.

In 2023, Valero maintained a substantial ethanol production capacity across its 13 ethanol plants located in the Mid-Continent region of the U.S., contributing significantly to its diverse energy portfolio.

The company has also partnered with BlackRock and Navigator to launch a large-scale carbon capture and storage project, emphasizing its commitment to environmental sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.

This project is set to enhance the management of carbon emissions through advanced infrastructure and collaborative efforts, positioning Valero as a proactive leader in environmental stewardship within the energy sector​​​​.

Geographical Presence

Valero Energy Corporation boasts a formidable geographical presence spanning North America, Europe, and the Caribbean.

In North America, it operates refineries strategically positioned in regions like the Gulf Coast, Mid-Continent, and West Coast, meeting energy demands both domestically and abroad.

In Europe, its subsidiary Valero Energy UK Ltd. oversees operations, notably with the Pembroke Refinery, a key player in the region’s energy supply chain.

Valero further extends its reach into the Caribbean through the Aruba Refinery, contributing to regional economic development.

This strategic footprint underscores Valero’s commitment to operational excellence and market diversification, positioning it to capitalize on global energy opportunities.

Recent Developments

  • In January 2023, Valero and Darling Ingredients gave the green light for a SAF project at the DGD Port Arthur plant.
  • In March 2021, Valero and BlackRock partnered with Navigator to develop an industrial-scale carbon capture pipeline system (“CCS”).


Company Overview

Establishment Year2004
HeadquarterOmaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Key ManagementTodd Becker (President and CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 3.3 Billion (2022)
Headcount~ 921 (2022)

About Green Plains

Green Plains Inc., a leading biorefining company, has recently made significant strides in the ethanol sector, especially with its involvement in the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) market.

In early 2023, Green Plains entered into a joint venture with United Airlines and Tallgrass to form Blue Blade Energy.

This venture aims to develop and commercialize a novel SAF technology using ethanol as the primary feedstock.

Green Plains is responsible for supplying the low-carbon ethanol feedstock and managing operations once the pilot facility is constructed.

This venture underscores Green Plains’ strategic pivot towards sustainability and innovation in the renewable fuels landscape.

The company’s efforts in this area reflect its commitment to reducing carbon emissions and supporting the agriculture sector through the production of low-carbon products​​​​​​.

Geographical Presence

Green Plains Inc., a key player in renewable energy, focuses on ethanol and biofuel production and has a significant presence across key U.S. regions.

Based in Omaha, Nebraska, the company strategically locates its ethanol facilities in states like Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Texas, Minnesota, and Indiana, all situated in America’s agricultural hub, providing ample corn feedstock.

Leveraging favorable regulations and infrastructure, particularly in Iowa and Nebraska, Green Plains drives market penetration.

Expanding into states like Texas and Minnesota, it meets the rising demand for renewable fuels, reaffirming its commitment to sustainability and innovation.

Recent Development

  • In April 2024, Green Plains introduced a fresh brand for its specialty feed ingredient, highlighting its quality, versatility, nutritional advantages, digestibility, and eco-friendly attributes.
  • In January 2023, Tallgrass, United Airlines, and Green Plains Inc. unveiled a new partnership to create and bring to market an innovative Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) technology, utilizing ethanol as its primary source.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1940
HeadquarterWichita, Kansas, U.S.
Key ManagementCharles Koch (Chairman & co-CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 125.0 Billion (2021)
Headcount~ 120,000 (2022)

About Koch Industries

Koch Industries, Inc. has solidified its position in the ethanol sector, becoming the fifth-largest ethanol producer in the United States.

Their expansion into this market began around 2010 when they purchased two ethanol plants during a period of industry downturn, taking advantage of lower prices to acquire high-quality assets.

This strategic move was part of Koch’s broader entry into renewable fuels, significantly diversifying its energy portfolio beyond its traditional oil and gas operations.

In recent years, Koch Industries has continued to expand its presence in renewable energy, including a $100 million investment in a biodiesel plant in Nebraska.

This underscores its ongoing commitment to growth in this sector despite its historical opposition to renewable fuel standards and subsidies​​​​.

Geographical Presence

Koch Industries, Inc., a prominent private entity in the U.S., boasts a vast geographical footprint across North America, Europe, and Asia.

With its headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, the company strategically operates facilities and offices throughout the United States and Canada, leveraging regional opportunities.

In Europe, Koch maintains a notable presence, capitalizing on diverse markets and skilled labor pools across several countries.

Additionally, the company has expanded into Asia, with operations in countries like China and India, tapping into the region’s dynamic economies and consumer markets.

This global presence reflects Koch Industries’ commitment to strategic expansion and market diversification, positioning it for sustained growth and competitiveness in an evolving business landscape.

Recent Development

  • In October 2022, Koch Engineered Solutions (KES) finalized a strategic partnership with ION Clean Energy (ION) aimed at enhancing plant design across various industries. The collaboration leverages ION’s cutting-edge technology alongside expertise from KES-affiliated companies to drive optimization in plant operations.
  • In November 2021, Koch Engineered Solutions LLC (KES) acquired DEPCOM, a premier engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company specializing in building utility-scale solar power plants. DEPCOM also provides ongoing operations, maintenance, and refurbishment services.


Company Overview

Establishment Year2010
HeadquarterSão Paulo, Brazil
Key ManagementLuis Henrique Guimarães (CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 47.6 B (2022)
Headcount~ 38,034 (2022)

About Raízen

Raízen, a major player in the ethanol sector and a joint venture between Shell and Cosan, is advancing significantly in the production of cellulosic ethanol.

In 2023, Raízen announced substantial investments amounting to approximately $395 million to construct two new cellulosic, second-generation ethanol plants in São Paulo, Brazil.

These plants are designed to utilize sugarcane bagasse, a byproduct of sugarcane processing, to produce ethanol, which aligns with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

These initiatives expand Raízen’s capacity for producing environmentally friendly fuel alternatives and underline their leadership in the renewable energy sector, particularly in ethanol production​​​​.

Geographical Presence

Raízen S.A. maintains a robust geographical presence primarily in Brazil, spanning key regions such as the Southeast, Center-West, and parts of the North and Northeast.

Operating within urban centers and industrial zones, Raízen leverages its strong foothold in states like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to drive energy sector activities.

Additionally, the company explores opportunities for biofuel production in agricultural regions, including Goiás and Mato Grosso.

While concentrating largely on Brazil, Raízen has also extended its reach internationally, notably in Latin America, with ventures in countries like Argentina.

These strategic expansions align with Raízen’s commitment to sustainable energy solutions and regional market diversification.

Recent Developments

  • In February 2024, Raízen and BYD formed a strategic alliance to promote the advancement of eco-friendly electric transportation in Brazil.
  • In November 2022, Raízen committed to supplying Shell with second-generation ethanol (E2G) derived from sugarcane biomass until 2037. This agreement encompasses the construction of five new E2G facilities.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1902
HeadquarterChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Key ManagementJuan Luciano (Chairman and CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 93.9 Billion (2023)
Headcount~ 41,802 (2023)

About Archer Daniels Midland

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), a leader in the ethanol industry, has been refining its operations and market strategy through key investments and asset sales.

Recently, ADM rebooted ethanol production at its Vantage Corn Processors in Iowa and Nebraska, capitalizing on favorable market conditions and increased demand for domestic ethanol.

Moreover, ADM sold its Peoria, Illinois, ethanol facility to BioUrja Group as part of a strategic move to streamline its dry mill ethanol assets and redirect capital towards more strategic growth areas, signaling a shift towards optimizing its asset portfolio for enhanced financial agility and sustainable growth.

These actions demonstrate ADM’s commitment to adapting its business to the evolving market landscape.

Geographical Presence

ADM maintains a strong global presence across North America, Europe, South America, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. Its facilities worldwide efficiently source agricultural commodities and cater to various markets.

In North America, ADM operates multiple processing and distribution facilities, while in Europe, it has an extensive network supporting ingredient production.

In South America, particularly in Brazil and Argentina, ADM specializes in soybean processing. In Asia-Pacific, ADM focuses on manufacturing and trading to meet increasing demand, and in Africa, it concentrates on commodity sourcing and market growth.

This expansive reach allows ADM to optimize supply chains, access diverse markets, and provide value to customers worldwide.

Recent Developments

  • In October 2021, ADM struck a deal to sell its ethanol production facility in Peoria, Illinois, to BioUrja Group, a fellow energy and agricultural commodity trading company.
  • In April 2021, ADM intended to resume ethanol production at its dormant Vantage Corn Processors dry mills located in Iowa and Nebraska.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1947
HeadquarterMaumee, Ohio, United States
Key ManagementPatrick E. Bowe (CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 14.8 Billion (2023)
Headcount~ 2,259 (2023)

About The Andersons

The Andersons, Inc., a company rooted in agriculture, is enhancing its role in the ethanol market, particularly within its renewables division.

The company achieved a record EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2023, driven by strong performance in renewable energies, including ethanol.

This success stems from The Andersons’ effective integration of its agricultural operations with renewable energy production.

Strategic developments include a joint venture with Marathon Oil to boost ethanol production and a series of modernization efforts aimed at increasing efficiency at its facilities.

These steps underscore The Andersons’ dedication to growth and efficiency in the renewable sector, ensuring it meets the industry’s changing demands and maintains a competitive stance.

Geographical Presence

Andersons, Inc., headquartered in Maumee, Ohio, has a robust geographical presence across North America.

Primarily concentrated in the Midwest, the company operates facilities in states like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, serving the agricultural, grain, and ethanol sectors. Extending beyond the Midwest, it has expanded into states such as Texas, Florida, Nebraska, and Kentucky, broadening its market reach. Moreover, with a growing presence in Canada, particularly in provinces like Ontario and Manitoba, The Andersons, Inc. is strategically positioned to leverage market opportunities and enhance customer accessibility throughout the region.

Recent Developments

  • In November 2022, the purchase of Bridge Agri Partners Inc. by The Andersons, Inc. marks its entry into the pet food ingredient sector, as Bridge Agri Partners excels in supplying ingredients for the pet food industry.
  • In October 2022, the Andersons, Inc. agreed to acquire the assets of Mote Farm Service, Inc.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1865
HeadquarterMinnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.
Key ManagementBrian Sikes (Chairman and CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 165.0 Billion (2022)
Headcount~ 155,000 (2023)

About Cargill

Cargill is actively enhancing its ethanol production capabilities, focusing on producing environmentally friendly industrial ethanol.

The company specializes in ethanol for industrial uses such as solvents and antifreeze, which are essential for manufacturing in the coatings, printing inks, and adhesives sectors.

Notably, Cargill has improved the sustainability of its operations, achieving a 23% increase in alcohol concentration at its Manchester, UK plant by optimizing fermentation processes, which also reduces energy use and emissions.

Furthermore, Cargill is expanding in Germany with a new plant in Barby, designed to produce ethanol for beverages, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, with TechnipFMC managing the construction.

These initiatives highlight Cargill’s commitment to innovation and sustainability in ethanol production to meet the increasing demand for eco-friendly products.

Geographical Presence

Cargill, Incorporated, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has a global reach spanning over 70 countries across North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa.

In North America, it is active in the United States and Canada, while in Latin America, it has a significant presence in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia.

In Europe, key markets include the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the Netherlands, and in the Asia Pacific region, it operates in countries such as China, India, and Australia.

Expanding into Africa, Cargill operates in South Africa, Kenya, and Zambia, focusing on agricultural sourcing, trading, and processing.

This extensive global presence highlights Cargill’s dedication to diverse markets and innovation in the agricultural and food sectors worldwide.

Recent Development

  • In April 2024, Nestlé Purina partnered with Cargill, a leading U.S. agricultural solutions provider, to promote the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices among farmers in its corn and soy supply chains.
  • In April 2024, Cargill formed a new commercial partnership with Voyage Foods to meet the growing demand for sustainable confectionery products.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1888
HeadquarterTokyo, Japan
Key ManagementHideki Horiguchi (President and CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 15.8 Billion (2022)
Headcount~ 30,464 (2022)

About Kirin Company

Kirin Company, primarily recognized for its contributions to the beverage industry, is also engaged in the ethanol sector, specifically utilizing its byproducts from beverage production to support bioethanol production.

Kirin is involved in various sustainability initiatives and leverages innovative technologies to enhance its operations in this area.

The company focuses on developing environmentally friendly processes that align with its broader corporate sustainability goals.

Kirin continues to emphasize innovation and environmental responsibility across its operations, including its efforts in the ethanol market​​​​.

Geographical Presence

Kirin Company, Limited, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, boasts a widespread geographical presence spanning Asia, Oceania, and beyond.

With a history dating back to 1885, Kirin has strategically expanded its operations, establishing a strong foothold in key Asian markets such as China, Thailand, and Indonesia while leveraging partnerships and subsidiaries in Oceania, notably in Australia and New Zealand.

Additionally, the company has made significant investments in the United States and Europe, reflecting its global ambitions and commitment to diversification. This expansive presence underscores Kirin’s position as a leading player in the global beverage industry.

Recent Development

  • In April 2024, Kirin partnered with Concha y Toro for the production of new Japanese and Chilean wines.
  • In February 2024, Kirin announced its plans to acquire an additional minority stake in B9 Beverages.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1909
HeadquarterLondon, England, UK
Key ManagementMurray Auchincloss (CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 210.1 Billion (2023)
Headcount~ 87,800 (2023)

About British Petroleum

British Petroleum (BP) has been broadening its focus beyond traditional oil and gas to include cleaner energy forms like ethanol as part of a broader strategy towards sustainability.

BP’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance sustainable practices reflect its commitment to the energy transition.

However, the company’s involvement in the ethanol market lacks specific details, and its clean energy claims have faced skepticism due to perceived discrepancies between its public commitments and actual actions.

Critics argue this may be part of greenwashing, where BP’s environmental efforts are seen as superficial rather than significant operational changes.

This situation underscores the challenges BP faces in aligning its established oil business with the increasing demand for renewable energy sources.

Geographical Presence

BP operates globally in Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, focusing on oil and gas exploration, production, refining, and marketing.

In Europe, it works in the UK, Norway, and Germany, while in North America, it’s active in the US and Canada, with interests in shale gas.

In the Asia-Pacific region, BP explores and produces in Australia and Indonesia while investing in renewable energy. The Middle East and Africa, it operates in Angola and Egypt.

Additionally, BP is present in Latin America, especially in Brazil and Mexico, where it explores deepwater reserves and invests in renewables.

This global presence showcases BP’s strategic positioning in energy markets, covering traditional hydrocarbon extraction and the growing emphasis on renewables.

Recent Developments

  • In April 2024, BP initiated oil production from the newly established Azeri Central East platform located in the Caspian Sea’s Azerbaijan sector.
  • In April 2023, BP extended its contract with Petrofac to continue supporting its North Sea portfolio.
Trishita Deb

Trishita Deb

Trishita has more than 7 years of experience in market research and consulting industry. She has worked in various domains including healthcare, consumer goods, and materials. Her expertise lies majorly in healthcare and has worked on more than 400 healthcare reports throughout her career.