Poet corn oil enough for 12 MMgy of biodiesel by year's end

By Bryan Sims | December 05, 2011

With its patent-pending BPX technology expanding to a total of six corn ethanol plants, South Dakota-based ethanol producer Poet LLC announced that it will be able to produce enough corn oil extracted from dried distillers grains from ethanol production to produce 12 MMgy of biodiesel by the end of the year.

Poet owns a total of 1.7 billion gallons of ethanol refining capacity and the company has been selling its trademarked Voila corn oil into the biodiesel and feed markets out of its 56 MMgy Poet Biorefining-Hudson facility in Hudson, S.D., for nearly a year. Its BPX technology has since been installed in five more of its ethanol plants with more expected in 2012. Ethanol plants that are producing corn oil include Poet Biorefining-Emmetsburg, Gowrie, Jewell and Hanlontown in Iowa. Poet’s ethanol plant, Biorefining-Laddonia in Missouri, is expected to be producing corn oil shortly before the end of the year. Combined, the six ethanol plants account for about 100 million pounds of corn oil annually.

Since early 2010 Poet has produced about 2 million pounds of corn oil out of its research center in Scotland, S.D., using its BPX process. Prior to producing corn oil at its Scotland facility, the company conducted a six-month precommercialization trial run for its BPX process at its Hudson ethanol plant in 2009.

“Voila has been a very strong part of Poet’s business this year and I’m excited to see more plants getting this technology,” said Poet founder and CEO Jeff Broin. “The more we can diversify into new, profitable products, the more successful our plants will be.”

Poet’s specific brand of corn oil is different thanks to the low-energy BPX fermentation process (“cold-cook”), which eliminates heat from fermentation. When corn oil is captured on the back-end of the process following BPX, it is a higher quality product with lower free fatty acids, the company stated.

“This is pretty exciting,” Broin said. “We’re producing energy as a byproduct of energy. It’s incredible to see how many different things we can get from a kernel of corn.”


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