Poet partners with summit for innovative ethanol emission reduction

Jan 30, 2024

By Farms.com

In an ambitious move to curb biofuel emissions, Poet, the foremost corn-ethanol producer in the world, has allied with Summit Carbon Solutions.  

This partnership is centered around a substantial carbon-capture and storage initiative in the US, targeting a reduction in biofuel emissions and tapping into the promising market of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and other burgeoning sectors. 

Summit Carbon Solutions has committed to shipping carbon dioxide from 17 of Poet's facilities through its planned pipeline in the Corn Belt. This venture expands the project's scope to encompass 51 ethanol plants and escalates the total capital investment by 45% to $8 billion. This new direction for Poet follows a previous pipeline project that was discontinued due to regulatory challenges. 

Addressing the importance of carbon capture in the agricultural sector, Bruce Rastetter, the founder of Summit Carbon’s parent company, highlights the critical role this pipeline plays in enabling ethanol to decarbonize.  

This opens new avenues for corn farmers, especially in the SAF market, which is expected to see substantial growth aided by incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act. 

The proposed pipeline by Iowa-based Summit will traverse five states — Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. It is designed to transport 18.5 million metric tons of CO2 annually, potentially allowing ethanol to replace a significant portion of US aviation fuel with SAF. 

With Poet’s involvement, the pipeline will gain an additional 380 miles, summing up to a total length of approximately 2,200 miles. Poet President Jeff Lautt views this project as a critical enhancement to ethanol's role in generating cleaner gasoline and unlocking new markets. 

Summit's pipeline has garnered significant backing, including from Continental Resources Inc. and Deere & Co. Despite the hurdles faced in the earlier Navigator CO2’s pipeline proposal, the current project holds promise for a transformative impact on sustainable agriculture and energy production. 

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