Digital MagazineDownstreamYear 2021

Biofuels Acquisition by POET

biofuels

“Another Chapter in the Development of Bioprocessing: POET’s Acquisition biofuels of Flint Hills Resources”

By Doug Berven, VP of Corporate Affairs

It can often be difficult to predict the historical importance of a single moment in time, like biofuels aquisition. But occasionally it is clear just how significant a moment will be by understanding the history leading up to it. From a family farm project during a farm recession, to a small biorefinery purchase, to the largest acquisition in biofuels history, POET may have humble beginnings, but the company has quickly become a powerhouse in the world of biotechnology.

On June 1 2021, POET, the world’s largest producer of biofuels and a leader in the development and production of renewable bioproducts, made the largest acquisition in biofuels history by purchasing the biofuel assets of Flint Hills Resources, which included six bioprocessing facilities and two terminals. The acquisition increased POET’s bioethanol production capacity from 2.2 billion gallons to three billion gallons overnight. The acquisition also significantly increased POET’s capacity. For high-protein animal feeds, bioCO2, purified alcohol, corn oil and other critical plant-based products.

POET´S Origins

POET’s origins started on the Broin family farm back in the 1980s, when the federal government was paying farmers to set aside 20 percent of their land because of an oversupply of grain in the United States. Instead of putting their land in a federal program, the Broins built a small bioethanol to soak up their surplus grain. They used the bioethanol to fuel their machinery and fed the distillers grain to their livestock. It was an innovative solution to the troubling agriculture situation at the time.

In 1987, Jeff Broin, Founder of POET, along with his family acquired a defunct one-million-gallon bioethanol plant in Scotland, SD. As they worked from the humble confines of the plant, word quickly spread that the Broins had successfully commercialized the facility. And calls came for the family to build plants in many areas of the country. That were experiencing the same oversupply and underpriced grains situation that was bankrupting farmers at an alarming pace.

Within a few years, Broin expanded the company’s ability to provide renewable fuels and plant-based bioproducts. As the number of plants grew, so did POET’s team. The company grew from 13 original team members in 1987 to over 2,200 today. In the first twenty years of existence, POET grew its capacity of bioethanol to one billion gallons annually. Twelve years later, that capacity doubled to two billion gallons, and only two short years down the road,
the capacity grew to an unprecedented three billion gallons.

Also, recommended for you: Biofuels producer POET commits to net-zero by 2050

POET’s commitment to biofuels

It is an unwavering belief in the power of agriculture and biofuels that drive the growth of this company and industry. Society will need low-carbon liquid fuel sources and bio-based products to power aspects of the clean energy economy today and for decades to come. That’s why POET most recently doubled down on plant-based biofuels and bioproducts to help meet the challenges of today — most notably climate change with the acquisition of Flint Hills.

In a recent study from Environmental Health and Engineering, researchers found that greenhouse gas emissions from bioethanol are 46% lower than gasoline. More importantly, the study demonstrated how the production of bioethanol and the advancement of agriculture are constantly improving to further reduce emissions, leading to a carbon neutral renewable fuel in the near future.

With the climate crisis becoming even more of a threat, the world needs viable options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions immediately. Bioethanol provides a readily available, affordable and clean solution for the transportation sector right now and for the foreseeable future. We don’t have to wait for developing technologies to solve the climate problem. Bioethanol is doing it today, and higher blends will only further reduce emissions from the transportation sector. POET has been on the leading edge of the Renewable Revolution for over thirty years. The POET team believes that to solve the planet’s most pressing issues. Including climate change, poverty, hunger and disease. We need to get our resources from the surface of the land, not the center of the Earth.

POET’s acquisition

In conclusion, POET’s acquisition and growth in June cemented its place in biofuel’s and biotechnology’s history. The move displayed POET’s confidence in the future of biofuels, and its continued impact on the fight against climate change. POET believes that everything you can get from a barrel of oil, you can get from a bushel of corn, and we are on a mission to do just that.

POET is creating sustainable alternatives to fossil-fuel based products using the sun, the soil and the seed, and we’re just getting started. To learn more about POET, visit poet.com.

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