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Landfill gas now powers POET plant


Partnership with city of Sioux Falls, S.D. makes ethanol production greener


Friday, March 27, 2009


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – POET Biorefining – Chancellor, S.D. and the city of Sioux Falls, S.D. have taken “green” to a new level with the completion of a landfill gas pipeline that is now providing methane gas to help power daily operations of the 105 million gallon per year (MGPY) POET ethanol plant.

The 10-mile, low-pressure pipeline from the Sioux Falls Regional Sanitary Landfill began supplying methane to the plant at the end of February, ahead of the expected completion date. The POET plant will utilize the landfill gas in a wood waste-fuel boiler to generate process steam. Combined, the two alternative energy sources will initially offset up to 90 percent of the plant’s process steam needs currently met using natural gas and has the potential to replace 90 percent of the plant’s total energy needs (combined with waste wood) over time.

The methane is produced when solid waste decomposes at the landfill. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the annual environmental benefits from using this gas for power is equal to removing emissions from more than 27,000 passenger vehicles, removing carbon dioxide emissions from more than 344,000 barrels of oil or sequestering carbon with nearly 34,000 acres of pine or fir forests. Besides reducing greenhouse gasses, the partnership provides additional revenue to Sioux Falls and lowers energy costs at the Chancellor plant.

“At POET, we take a lot of pride in helping reduce the human impact on our environment,” POET CEO Jeff Broin said. “Ethanol already cuts greenhouse gasses significantly compared to gasoline. This partnership makes that process even cleaner.”

Sioux Falls Mayor Dave Munson said the new Methane Gas Compressor system provides a benefit for everyone in the area.

“Not only is this now allowing us to reuse the methane, but with POET as our customer we have added a revenue stream to the landfill which is going to keep rates low for the entire region,” Munson said.

POET and the City of Sioux Falls are members of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP). The program aims to reduce methane emissions from landfills by encouraging development of cost-effective and environmentally sound landfill gas projects.

About POET
POET, the largest ethanol producer in the world, is an established leader in the biorefining industry through project development, design and construction, research and development, plant management, and marketing. The 20-year-old company currently operates 26 production facilities in the United States. The company produces and markets more than 1.54 billion gallons of ethanol annually. For more information, go to http://www.poet.com.

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