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Type Private
Industry bioethanol
Founded 1986
Headquarters Sioux Falls, SD
Key people Jeff Lautt, Chief Executive Officer
Employees 1600+

POET LLC is a U.S. biofuel company that specializes in the creation of bioethanol. The privately held corporation, which was originally called Broin Companies, is headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In 2007, the Renewable Fuels Association named POET the largest U.S. ethanol producer, creating 1.1 billion US gallons (4,200,000 m3) of fuel per year.[1] Currently, POET produces 1.7 billion gallons of ethanol per year.[2]

POET operates 27 ethanol plants spread across Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Minnesota, and South Dakota.[3] In 2007, the company received a US$80 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for the creation of a cellulosic ethanol production facility in Emmetsburg, Iowa. This facility is currently under construction and is expected to begin full operations in 2014. It is expected to produce 25 million gallons of ethanol per year from corncobs, leaves and husks provided by farmers in and around the area.[4]

POET has also collaborated with other companies, including Deere & Co. and Vermeer Company, to develop manufacturing equipment for harvesting corn cobs used in ethanol production.[5] Among its products in the process are distillers grains branded Dakota Gold,[6] Inviz,[7] and Voila.[8]


  • History 1
  • Cellulosic ethanol 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The company traces its history to the family farm in Wanamingo, Minnesota where the Broins began producing ethanol in 1983. In 1986 it became commercial launching its flagship plant in Scotland, South Dakota in foreclosed ethanol plant under the corporate name Broin Farms which became Broin Companies.

In 2007, it was renamed POET. Then company president Jeff Broin said the new name is not an acronym. He said, “We wanted a name that would represent, rather than describe, who we are and what we do...As a poet takes everyday words and turns them into something valuable and beautiful; we use creativity that comes from common sense to leave things better than we found them.”[9]

The reorganization changes the following company names:

  • Broin Companies –> Poet
  • Broin Management –> Poet Plant Management
  • Broin & Associates –> Poet Design & Construction
  • Ethanol Products –> Poet Ethanol Products
  • Dakota Gold Marketing –> Poet Nutrition
  • Broin Enterprises –> Poet Research Center

Its plants have been visited by Wentworth, South Dakota in April 2002 and by Barack Obama in Macon, Missouri in April 2010.

In April 2012 Jeff Broin moved from CEO to Executive Chairman of the Board, and Jeff Lautt became President and CEO. Lautt had been president since 2011.[10]

Cellulosic ethanol

Poet has constructed an $8 million pilot plant to produce cellulosic ethanol made from corn cobs and other crop residue.[11]

A commercial scale project, based on the pilot plant, was undertaken as a joint venture with Royal DSM under the name POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC.[12] A federal loan guarantee was obtained in July, 2011 for a commercial-scale plant to be built in Emmetsburg, Iowa.[13] This loan guarantee was later declined when the joint venture with Royal DSM was announced.[14]Originally scheduled to open in 2013, the facility opened a year late in September, 2014.[15]


  1. ^ “Poet Nation's Top Ethanol Producer,” News, September 14, 2007
  2. ^ "Poet Opens 27th Ethanol Plant in Indiana". Herald Bulletin Online (Anderson, IN). 15 March 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "What is POET?". POET. 
  4. ^ Dreeszen, Dave (24 July 2011). "Seven Questions about Project Liberty". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  5. ^ “Manufacturers perfect corn cob harvesters,” Biomass Magazine, October 20, 2008
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ "Broin is Poet™". 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  10. ^ "Jeff Lautt Named CEO of POET". POET Web site. POET. April 3, 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "World Environment News - Poet opens first cellulosic ethanol pilot plant". Planet Ark. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  12. ^ "POET and DSM to make advanced biofuels a reality by 2013". POET web site. POET. January 23, 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  13. ^ Matthew L. Wald (July 6, 2011). "U.S. Backs Project to Produce Fuel From Corn Waste". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2011. The Energy Department plans to provide a $105 million loan guarantee for the expansion of an ethanol factory in Emmetsburg, Iowa, that intends to make motor fuel from corncobs, leaves and husks. 
  14. ^ Poet LLC Launches Joint Venture
  15. ^ Commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant opens

External links

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