Six POET biorefineries in Ohio and Indiana are installing a new energy generation system using combined heat and power. These systems will reduce reliance on the electrical energy grid, recover waste energy for additional use in the plant and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The system will use steam in a turbine to generate electricity to run the plant and recover waste energy from the turbine to meet additional energy demands. This makes dual use of the energy used to power the ethanol process. “This is very exciting for POET and renewable fuels. We are already much better than gasoline in overall emissions. Finding ways to make additional use of steam is a great opportunity to improve our environmental footprint even more,” POET CEO Jeff Broin said. “Ethanol today is a clean, renewable biofuel that reduces cancer causing aromatics in gasoline, and with upgrades like this we will continue to become even more environmentally friendly.”
POET already employs a number of strategies to lower energy use in its biorefineries. The patented BPX process uses enzymes instead of heat for fermentation. Additionally, heat is shared between processes such as distillation and evaporation to get maximum production with the minimum amount of energy use.
The plants installing these new systems are
• POET Biorefining – Fostoria
• POET Biorefining – Marion
• POET Biorefining – Leipsic
• POET Biorefining – Alexandria
• POET Biorefining – North Manchester
• POET Biorefining – Portland
All of the upgrades are expected to be complete in 2017.