First Generation Ethanol Production
The United States is the largest ethanol producer in the world, producing 13.9 billion gallons, and Brazil is the second largest producer with 5.57 billion gallons in 2011. These two countries together contributed to 89% of the world's fuel ethanol in 2011, as shown in the pie chart in Figure 2.1.
Almost all of the first generation ethanol produced in the United States is corn ethanol, and sugarcane is the main feedstock for its production in Brazil. Sugarcane gives a much higher ethanol yield compared to the corn used for ethanol production in the United States; a comparison of the yields is shown in Table 2.2.