Poet now produces enough corn oil to produce 68 MMgy of biodiesel

By Susanne Retka Schill | January 24, 2013

Poet LLC announced that 25 of its network of 27 biorefineries have installed Poet’s patent-pending corn oil technology, bringing its total capacity to approximately 250,000 tons per year, enough feedstock to produce 68 million gallons of biodiesel annually, according to the company.

Poet has been selling its trademarked Voilà corn oil into biodiesel and feed markets since January 2011, when Poet Biorefining—Hudson (S.D.) first began to produce it on a commercial scale. Strong demand for the product prompted upgrades at all but two plants in the Poet network, the company said, those being Poet Biorefining-Bingham Lake (Minn.) and Poet Biorefining-Macon (Mo.). The company markets its corn oil as being high quality due to Poet’s BPX dry mill ethanol process that operates without the use of high heat, which results in a high level of product purity and low free fatty acid content.

“Having a more diverse portfolio of products has been a benefit for Poet, particularly when ethanol margins are challenging,” CEO Jeff Lautt said. “Expanding our product line is an important part of our strategy for growth.”

One of Poet’s four Ingreenuity goals is to increase production of biobased products beyond distillers grains. In addition to expanding corn oil production to 25 plants, Poet also captures carbon dioxide at five of its plants for sale to beverage producers and others. “There’s a biobased solution to so much of what petroleum supplies today,” Lautt said. “It’s exciting for me to see Poet playing a large part in providing those solutions.” Other goals in the Ingreenuity initiative include reducing water use and greenhouse gas intensity and increasing sustainable production. The 25-year-old company has a production capacity in excess of 1.6 billion gallons of ethanol and 9 billion pounds of high-protein animal feed annually.