Bioenergy

POET Opens 21st Ethanol Plant

Last week in Portland, Indiana, POET hosted a grand opening ceremony for its 21st ethanol production facility. With the additional 65 million gallons of production coming online, POET becomes the largest producer of ethanol in the world. Portland is the first POET plant in the state of Indiana, with two additional plants currently under construction.

“When we started our first facility in 1988 at one million gallons per year, we had no intentions of becoming the largest,” said Jeff Broin, CEO of POET. “We simply realized that farmers needed additional uses for their crops and the country needed a clean-burning, domestic fuel. Now, with ten thousand farmer-owners and investors from all walks of life, we are developing the rural economy, improving the environment and reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.”

The facility will be equipped with technology that decreases its environmental footprint. That technology includes POET’s patent-pending BPX process that eliminates the need for heat in the cooking process of producing ethanol, reducing energy usage by 8-15 percent in comparison with conventional plants. It will also be outfitted with a regenerative thermal oxidizer that eliminates up to 99.9 percent of air emissions.

POET Biorefining–Portland will obtain 100% of its water supply from a nearby quarry which pumps out water in order to continue its excavation activities. To use this water, a 10 million gallon retention pond was constructed on site that allows the sediment to settle out of the water before it is used in the ethanol plant. By using water that would have originally been discharged, the facility will leave more water resources available for other commercial and residential purposes.