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Poet Expands Purified Alcohol Production, Launches Plant-Based Consumer Products

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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Poet LLC announced an expansion of purified alcohol production at its plant in Leipsic, Ohio. (Photo courtesy Poet LLC)

The nation's largest ethanol producer, Poet LLC, is expanding its business to include additional purified-alcohol production as well as renewable carbon dioxide and dry ice, the company announced in a news release on Wednesday.

The company is adding purified-alcohol production capacity of up to 35 million gallons per year at its ethanol plant in Leipsic, Ohio, for hand sanitizers, grain-neutral spirits and USP-grade alcohol.

In addition, Poet said it is expected to complete construction on a purified-alcohol expansion at its plant in Alexandria, Indiana, during the second quarter of 2021. That project includes a $25 million local investment, will create six new full-time jobs and more than 50 construction jobs.

Purified alcohol is an ingredient in thousands of products from foods and beverages, personal care products, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizers and industrial applications. Poet said its purified alcohol is a beverage-grade grain neutral spirit that meets pharmaceutical-grade specifications as well.

A number of ethanol plants launched sanitizer production during the COVID-19 economic shutdown to address a sanitizer shortage, as many ethanol plants across the country either shut down or cut ethanol production.

Poet also unveiled a new line of products with a new label, Poet Pure. The product line will include purified alcohol, renewable CO2 and renewable dry ice.

According to the news release, Poet is marketing the products as 100% plant-based.

"Poet's all-natural purified alcohol is made from renewable resources grown on the surface of the earth and can replace petroleum-based synthetic products found in a variety of consumer goods," the company said in a news release.

Poet is one of several ethanol companies to diversify their businesses in recent years, in light of EPA's granting of an increasing number of small-refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard starting in 2016.

Poet announced in August 2019 it was cutting back and idling production in response to EPA's actions,….

"Poet has the unique ability to supply consumers across the globe with earth-friendly bioproducts," said Jeff Broin, Poet founder and chief executive officer. "We're proud to say that bioethanol and its co-products are continually being utilized in more ways that will enable us to live cleaner, healthier lives while being better friends to our environment."

The two ethanol plants consume more than 45 million bushels of corn annually from area farmers, according to the company's website.

Poet operates 28 ethanol plants in seven states. When its plants are operating at full capacity, Poet purchases about 5% of corn and produces about 2 billion gallons of ethanol, 10 billion pounds of distillers dried grains, and 600 million pounds of corn oil annually.

Todd Neeley can be reached at

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