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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 1.8 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. A grand opening was held for the facility on September 3rd, 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]


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 George W. Bush in Wentworth, South Dakota in April 2002 and by Barack Obama in Macon, Missouri in April 2010.

Cellulosic ethanol

POET has constructed an $8 million pilot plant to produce cellulosic ethanol made from corn cobs and other crop residue.[10]

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.[11] A federal loan guarantee was obtained in July, 2011 for a commercial-scale plant to be built in Emmetsburg, Iowa.[12] This loan guarantee was later declined when the joint venture with Royal DSM was announced.[13] Originally scheduled to open in 2013, the facility opened a year late in September, 2014.[14]

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