Ethanol and biorefined products supplier POET held an event on October 15 to break ground on an expansion project at its biorefinery in Alexandria, IN. During the effort, the company plans to increase the site’s production capabilities for purified alcohol, which is used as an ingredient in hand sanitizers and cleaning products.
“Our incredibly talented POET team worked around the clock to produce a brand new, plant-based, purified alcohol product in response to the unprecedented shortage of hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies that occurred as a result of the pandemic,” Matt Braun, senior vice president and general manager for POET, said in a company release. “Engineers, researchers, plant operators, and many others came together to create a clean, green sanitizer product that can help protect our families, our communities, and our frontline workers.”
When the $25 million project reaches completion, the site will have a production capacity of 30 to 35 million gal/yr of purified alcohol. The project is expected to create six new jobs at the plant.
POET said the project will likely reach completion early next year.
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has prompted several other major companies to invest in expanding their output of alcohol used in sanitization and cleaning products. Agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) revealed plans in June to increase industrial alcohol production at its Clinton, IA corn processing complex. Didion announced in August that it is boosting production of USP grade alcohol at its Cambria, WI location.