First Look: Spring 2013

Curiosity, creativity, ingenuity, these are qualities unique in human beings that have allowed us since the beginning of our time to take what the world provides and craft it to meet our evolving needs.

Ethanol production is certainly an example of that. Working with nature has always been at the core of what we do here at POET, but today we are highlighting it like never before. You might have noticed that POET’s motto “Energy Inspired” no longer appears under our name. Producing energy is obviously still a key part of what we do, but we have broadened our vision in recent years, and it was time to reflect that. We sum it up with our new motto: “Human + Nature.”

As biorefiners, we find solutions for many problems in the world today through the power and abundance of nature. By adding human ingenuity and the motivation to create new things, we accomplish amazing things.

That is evident in the growing number and sophistication of products coming out of POET plants today. Dakota Gold distillers grain, for example, has a level of consistency and nutrition content that makes it a standard for the industry. Twenty-five of the 27 POET plants have now installed corn oil technology, and by the end of the year we expect that all POET plants will be taking advantage of this valuable opportunity. We are exploring creative applications for our zein product, Inviz™, which can be used in paints and varnishes, plastics, biodegradable films and coatings and more. And we are working to develop new products, such as food-grade fiber, to give us access to new markets. We have more products and technology in the pipeline than ever before. I am fortunate to be involved in this industry during this exciting transition from producers of fuel to comprehensive biorefiners.

Our Human + Nature concept applies to many things outside of production as well. The attacks on biofuels from the oil industry this year are really a matter of fossil fuel vs. nature as the source for our ongoing energy needs. They want to keep nature out of the picture, and we fight to help it grow. We are working hard to ensure that the progress America has made in recent years to make our fuel supply green and sustainable remains intact. The Renewable Fuel Standard was the spark that ignited that effort, and despite the constant attempts to tear it down, we will remain staunch defenders of biofuel.

We have made it a priority to grow nature’s role through E15, displacing even more harmful and foreign petroleum. Our opponents are working hard to make sure the blend wall remains a hurdle for our industry, while we work to promote fuel choice and spread E15 availability to more stations across America. E15 is the key transition fuel toward higher blends of ethanol and a greener future.

We are leaders, through POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, in commercializing cellulosic ethanol. The Department of Energy has identified a billion tons of biomass for use in energy production, biomass that is ready and available, not in protected or inaccessible areas. As I see Project LIBERTY taking shape in Emmetsburg today, I see another great example of what can happen when we combine human ingenuity with nature.

I’ve recently given a number of speeches in which I present a timeline of world energy sources. Over the last hundred years that timeline is dominated by the black line of increasing fossil fuel use, with a green line of renewable use peeking through in the last handful of years. But as we zoom out from that timeline, the picture looks much different. That black line of fossil energy is nothing more than a blip. For almost all of humanity’s existence, we have used the resources at hand, above the ground, to co-exist in a sustainable way with nature. And I see a renewable economy in our future once again.

POET aims to continue to lead the way in moving the world back to sustainability while still allowing our society to move forward technologically through advancements in transportation, food production, biochemicals and more. “Human + Nature” describes what we’re doing today, and it is the guiding principle for this company’s future.



Vital is a news & media resource published by POET, presenting a variety of stories with the thought leadership one expects from the largest, most forward-thinking ethanol producer.